We can make out as much as we want, arguing about rebel songs and polluted water and whatever else you have of your own. But really, we all know there’s only one game in town right now. There’s a stillness in the air and we stick our noses up and sniff for traces of… you know… it.
Paschal Donohoe says we won’t have one. But we look at the slow momentum of the character construction and wonder. We also ask ourselves, even if we don’t have one, will it still feel like one?
We’re seeing bank card spend coming down and we’re not surprised because we know everyone is cutting back on them, cutting back a bit on discretion and leaks. We look at job cuts in the tech industry, one of the sugar daddies that surprise us with more and more money every month.
We’re hearing about restaurant closures, concerned business people. It’s like a slow drip, drip And in a way we just wish the dam would burst, that the other shoe would fall and we could just see where we are, what’s in store.
You’ll even hear people say we need one to clean the air. As if it were a thunderstorm, a weather that must break to end the pregnant hiatus.
We know rationally that the people who do know are telling us there won’t be a recession here. Oops, I said it. But we’ve heard these stories before. We are traumatized by the groupthink of the past. We find it safer to believe the worst now.
If you were superstitious, you would think that the real canary in the coal mine is that we all, but especially journalists, know way too much about the bond markets right now.
The last time we all looked around the bond markets, things got really, really bad. Let me chill your blood by telling you that I know what the price of gas is in the wholesale markets right now. You probably have a good idea too.
And you probably know how that compares to the highs in August. We still don’t understand why everyone bought petrol in the summer when it was more than twice as expensive as it is now. But we vaguely understand that it’s cheaper now because everyone filled up in the summer.
But the detail is not important. Importantly, it is against the natural order for all of us to know these things. Ordinary Irish people shouldn’t know what’s going on with the Fed or what mortgage rates are in the UK or US. There is something deeply wrong if we know these things.
When our own car tumbles over the edge of a cliff and is still able to go either way, we almost have a grudging admiration for the Brits who chose to repeatedly drive the bus over the cliff and then turn in mid-air the way down.
But Ireland is inherently Beckettian. So we wait in that limbo and talk about it, but every time we cringe every time the word is mentioned because we also know that the number of times the word is mentioned is another sign.
And all the time we steel ourselves. As Beckett says, don’t wait to be hunted to hide.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/we-shouldnt-know-this-much-about-the-markets-42069991.html We shouldn’t know that much about the markets