I think it could have easily been either of my sisters Steely Dan was thinking of when they sang “She’s a raw flame, a live wire. She plays like a Roman with her eyes on fire.” So when they came to Portland for a visit and fell in love with with it, that said more to me about the city than any bumper sticker could.
What would a place that embraces its tattoos, dreadlocks, piercings, beer, bookstores, coffee, local haute cuisine and my sisters think of the current economic conditions?
Here’s my guess.
1. Break up the banks!
You probably won’t draw much of a crowd here, after the anarchists get bored and leave. Keep in mind, our two biggest employers are Nike and Intel.
The genie’s out of the bottle. International finance has merged commercial and investment banking. If the US is the only one that doesn’t, it would be like trying to participate in a world that trades in gold, but we paid in corn. We’d disadvantage our banks, who, like it or not, do a lot for the financial transactions at Nike and Intel.
And they employ a lot of our people.
2. The stock market is behaving irrationally with its upward move.
We’re visionaries here. We’re do stop action films and Grammy winning jazz as well as athletic shoes and microprocessors. We know how important it is consider what’s down the road as well as what’s under our nose.
We know the market pricing is looking about six months down the road, and apparently has drawn two conclusions: 1) Go ahead and throw a party on December 22; and 2) Europe will hold together (and China growing at 10% forever probably wasn’t going to happen anyway).
Do what you want to, but we’ll throw a great party after the Mayan calendar ends, rain or shine. And the US economy will be fine.
3. (Fill in name of your political candidate) will balance the budget by (year)
No he won’t. Neither budget is balanced in ten years, and any allegation to the contrary means that the pundit either didn’t read the budget or didn’t know what it meant. I read both budgets and was amused by the way both parties label less of an increase in spending as a “budget cut.”
We’re hard to fool. Maybe that’s because we have Powell’s book store where we can buy a book on anything. And we read them.
So, from a city that my wild Irish sisters call “cool” when it’s 100 degrees, the financial temperature is fine.
But we’re wearing our sun screen.