Matthew Klam reads Charles D’Ambrosio’s "The Point" and discusses it with The New Yorker’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. "The Point" was published in the October 1, 1990, issue of The New Yorker and was the title story of D’Ambrosio’s first collection. Matthew Klam’s most recent book of stories is "Sam the Cat."
Tagged with “depression” (6)
Lorrie Moore reads Julie Hayden’s "Day-Old Baby Rats."
The U.S. stock market took a big jump yesterday, and everyone cheered.
There is a big school of thought out there that says we must not just bounce back from this downturn. We must come back changed. This isn’t just a great recession we’re in, they say. It’s “The Great Disruption” — nature and the economy hitting the wall, collapsing, at the same time.
Australian environmentalist Paul Gilding invented the phrase. American climate expert Joseph Romm says the free ride is over.
With vintage Russian black humor, Orlov described the social collapse he witnessed in Russia in the 1990s and spelled out its practical lessons for the American social collapse he sees as inevitable. The American economy in the 1990s described itself as “Goldilocks”—just the right size—when in fact is was “Tinkerbelle,” and one day the clapping stops. As in Russia, the US made itself vulnerable to the decline of crude oil, a trade deficit, military over-reach, and financial over-reach.
Russians were able to muddle through the collapse by finding ways to manage 1) food, 2) shelter, 3) transportation, and 4) security.
By way of readiness, Orlov urges all to prepare for life without a job, with near-zero burn rate. It takes practice to learn how to be poor well. Those who are already poor have an advantage.
One year ago, at the dawn of 2008, we knew we had problems, but thought we might skate through them. Now we know better. The economy was the big bombshell, and that’s not over. Wars and power shifts fill out the picture.
So what about 2009? Is this the year of turnaround? On Wall Street? Main Street? Afghanistan and beyond? Or more woe?
This hour we’ll peer into 2009 with big thinkers Laura Tyson, on the economy, and Noah Feldman, on world affairs.
Financial historian Niall Ferguson knows humanity’s long trail of boom and bust cycles. But he is hardly buried in the past.
In the long run-up to today’s crisis, Ferguson was warning loud and clear that we were headed for trouble. He called it early, and he called it right.
Now, Ferguson is sizing up the mess we’re in. Bottom line guess, he says: we’re headed for ten percent unemployment and five-plus years of hard times.
On the other side, the world could look quite different. But the U.S., he says, still has some good cards to play. Saving graces.
This hour, On Point: Niall Ferguson, and the big view of the mess we’re in.