Roger L. Simon

Financial crisis: On the exercise machine, watching Cavuto

I read Pat Santy’s article on Pajamas this morning and took her advice.  Don’t blame others.  Do what you can for yourself in this time of financial crisis.

Well, exercise is something I can do for myself.  As we’re told, it fights everything from a creeping waist line to Alzheimer’s.  So I flicked on the television for diversion and off I went on my trusty elipse machine. But as it happens, Neil Cavuto was on. Non-stop bailout talk.  Panic in the streets.  G-8 can’t get along. No one knows if we’ve hit bottom.

Keep pedaling, Simon, I think. You’re shedding calories (a few raisins’ worth anyway).  And spitting out a few endorphins.  Who cares about your pension fund?  You didn’t want to retire anyway.  You know those stats about people who retire – how they die younger.

Still, anxiety creeps in.  What’s with this bailout?  Does it make any sense?  Why not let the markets work? You’ve got to pay for it in the end.  But then there’s this liquidity crisis.  No one can get a loan.  Society grinds to a standstill.  What to do? What to do?  Nobody seems to know.  Nancy Pelosi, of all people, is going to make a speech about this on Monday.  Does anybody think she can pass a basic math test… actually define what a derivative is (in calculus or stock terms)?  The mind reels.  I go back to Econ 1 at Dartmouth, trying to remember what it said in Samuelson.  But did Samuelson know anything?  What about Marx?  Milton Friedman?  Keep pedaling – it’s all in the mind.  Keep focused. Remember Oscar Wilde:  “We’re all lying in the gutter, but some us are looking at the stars.”

But does somebody out there really understand what to do?  Or is it all illusion? [If all comes to naught, you can sell that fancy elipse machine on eBay.-ed. For what?  A tenth of what I paid for it?  Well, you said it yourself – “Everything Must Go!]