Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We have hit bottom...

At least in describing how bad it is out there.

The Squeeze understands the challenges of writing about the recession. We receive regular complaints at the Observer about the media's dire drumbeat contributing to the confidence issues plaguing the economy. Yet we want to accurately report the news - and struggles - that we see.

Plus, there are descriptive issues. How many different ways can you say how bad it is?

Today, we found several. In one paragraph. It's inspired a contest. Send us the most overwrought, bad financial prose you can write, and we'll send the winner a Charlotte Observer coffee mug.

Let this one guide you toward your inner awfulness. It's from CNBC blogger Janice Dorn - The Trading Doctor. She is describing how low the market may fall.

Says Dorn:

"With each passing day, the bus has been careening down the mountain and getting emptier as more as more people are jumping off in sheer terror. Lightening of the load and thinning of the herd, perhaps? Buy and hope morphed into buy and cry and is now buy and bleed. I feel a pent-up pressure beginning to build but—bottoms and tops are seen only in hindsight. Speaking of buts ( pun intended) -- this has been a Jennifer Lopez market with various people seeing different bottoms for months now. This is not a bottom call. I repeat. This is an alert to have cash ready and don’t overstay your welcome or your size on the short side. There will be volatility, as the dying beast gasps for breath in its agonal throes, fighting with every fabric of its being to stay alive."

Indeed.

Go get 'em. Short or long - one sentence or one paragraph - describe how bad the recession/market/your retirement portfolio is, but have fun. Fiction is fine. (For inspiration - but not plagiarism - here's the granddaddy of bad writing contests.) Send your worst effort to pstonge@charlotteobserver.com.


A coffee mug awaits in one week.

Your Morning Edge:

Several states, looking to raise revenue, are giving casinos and video poker another look, the Wall Street Journal reports.

If you dare, CNN-Money has some potential stock bargains to consider.

MomsCharlotte Deal Diva has the best of the weekly deals at Target, Walmart and local drug stores.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not even close to bottom... We have just under 7000 on the Dow to go until we hit zero which is exactly what you get when the gov't owns everything...

Anonymous said...

When uncertain
When in doubt
Run in circles
Scream and shout

Anonymous said...

We have not hit bottom. The bus is picking up speed with this administrations policies......

Anonymous said...

I prefer the flip side of this coin. Why don't you FILL the glass instead of EMPTYING it. I'll buy the winner a mug from Ikea.

Anonymous said...

How BAD it is? What about thos inspiring messages from people who are doing OK in all of this mess. They are out there. People who continue to work hard, save their money and hold tight. I think it would serve us all better to see the good stories than to wallow in the bad. I've heard enough whinning to last a lifetime!

pstonge said...

Let's clarify the contest. We want people to have fun - give us your intentionally bad writing. Whining won't win. Have a good time.

Pete

Anonymous said...

Remember when life used to actually be FUN?!?

Anonymous said...

Those people that are doing well don't want their stories told. They're worried the administration will find them and take all they earn!

Anonymous said...

I was born smack in the middle of WWII, into a home with no electricity nor running water. There was no media then. I think I liked that time better than now.

Anonymous said...

I"m doing quite well
my business is booming
I'm not telling how
with the IRS looming

my bank accounts soft
but my mattress quite firm
I'm sleeping quite nicely
with my cash in an urn

I pulled all my money
from my mutual funds
now I'm in control
not those Wall Street scums

I cling to my bible
I know where I stand
got a Colt in the other
you pick a hand

maquito said...

Take the coffee mug back!..the word describing this economy is "careering" and NOT "careening"..basic ingles 101,mi amigo!..look it up!..

Greeko said...

As long at we have a president who has waged a war on prosperity the market will be unsteady. Just remember this is temporary and it will recover.

Anonymous said...

The hyperbaric chamber is where we go for a speedy recovery, the hyperbolic chamber is where journalists go to forestall one. Let's join them. The market is so bad Merrill Lynch is changing it's symbol to a bear. I use to joke that my 401k was a 301k. Those were the good ole days. Obama is now changing his tax plan. Instead of taxing the TOP 2% of wage earners, he'll tax the 2% who ARE wage earners. Having said all that, I'm still an optimist. I see the glass as a quarter full.