Sleight of hand
Posted by Ron Coleman on July 11, 2008
McCain economic adviser Phil Gramm did his candidate no favors Wednesday when he told the Washington Times that the current economic downturn is a “mental recession.” “We have sort of become a nation of whiners,” Gramm said. “You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline.” . . .
Gramm explained that although “the economy is bad,” it doesn’t qualify as a “recession.” And that other part? “When I said we’ve become a nation of whiners, I’m talking about our leaders. I’m not talking about our people.”
The funny part is, recession or not, Gramm and his investors have felt the pain as much as anyone. Just look at the stock of UBS, where Gramm serves as vice chairman. It’s dropped by 70 percent over the last year. (See Daniel Gross’ recent Slate piece to find out why.)
Below that is a chart showing the tanking stock price for UBS.
Funny. It would be less funny, but more enlightening, to actually demonstrate the existence of a recession, though, as opposed to either the decline of a single security or even of the whole stock market.
Whining is a lot funnier, though.