We are often unmindful of the pictures that other people carry around in their heads of us. For instance, I’m always running into people who say, "You shaved your beard!" when I haven’t worn one in a year or more. A lot of Republicans, for instance, think of me that way because they saw me lot at the GOP convention in New York four years ago, and I had a beard that week (as in the shot of Jeff Miller and me on this post).
Separate from that, two people have said it in the last couple of weeks. One of them was Kathleen Parker (at this event), and the other one I forget.
The fact that people will, however belatedly, notice something like that about ME got me to thinking over the weekend…. We all know how skittish markets are. Whatever you think about what Phil Gramm said, the fact is that the health of our economy is largely a phenomenon of mass psychology (which is why I posted the FDR picture). If we believe stocks have value, they have value. If enough of us believe the economy is healthy, it will generally be healthy. (This is why I don’t like dealing with the economy; so much of everything, right down to the value of money and gold themselves, are a smoke-and-mirrors thing that only works if you close your eyes and BELIEVE. Except of course for the land, Katy Scarlett…)
And you know how the merest word or smallest gesture on the part of a chairman of the Federal Reserve can have, even in good times: The chairman said "irrational exuberance"! We’re exuberant, but is it irrational? Could he be right? Next thing you know, the dot.com bubble bursts. Sure, those stocks were overvalued, but the bubble lasted as long as we were able to fool ourselves otherwise.
So it occurs to me that, with everything so precarious on the Street, and Paulson and Bernanke speaking to Congress in such hushed whisper of awe and fear and the pending collapse of our credit markets…
What if Ben Bernanke shaved off his beard?
Why, Wall Street would go berserk! But would it be good berserk, or bad berserk? Could this be the bold stroke that is needed to jolt the economy back to where it should be? Or would we find ourselves living in the Stone Age before he could get a Don Johnson stubble going again?
It’s probably not worth the risk. If I see Ben Bernanke even LOOKING at the Schick Xtreme 3s in a checkout line, I’m going home and stuff all my baseball cards into a mattress.
I’ve probably made enough trouble even suggesting the possibility. For that reason, I won’t even go into the fact that…
Henry Paulson looks disturbingly like Daddy Warbucks!