RateWatch #417 – Collapse of the Earth's Magnetic Field (A Bit of Humor)

July 24, 2004 by Dick Lepre
dicklepre@rpm-mortgage.com

What's Happening

Equities had a bad week. Investor confidence in equities is diminished by several factors: this often happens during the summer, there is uncertainty about what GDP growth is going to be in the near future, and investors - whether or not it makes sense - seem predisposed to electing a Republican and may be having some pre-convention angst. To some extent, this will go on until the election. Wall Streeters see Kerry/Edwards as tax-and-spend liberals who do not seem pro-business.  Clinton was suspect at first but equities boomed during his eight years.  The effect that the President has on the economy is highly overrated.

Greenspan talked up the economy this past week indicating that June was a "soft patch". Investors seem skeptical that economic growth will be robust but part of Greenspan's job is to spin things in a positive light in times ofuncertainty.

Rates should remain flat until the August BLS jobs report.

The Collapse of the Earth's Magnetic Field

On July 13, 2004 The New York Times ran an article detailing that the earth's magnetic field was collapsing. "The field's strength has waned 10 percent to 15 percent so far and this deterioration has accelerated of late, increasing debate over whether it portends a reversal of the lines of magnetic force that normally envelop the earth.

A reversal could knock out power grids, hurt astronauts and satellites, widen atmospheric ozone holes, send polar auroras flashing to the equator and confuse birds, fish  and migratory animals that rely on the steadiness of the magnetic field as a navigation aid."

I thought it pertinent to assay what the world's leaders, would-be leaders and pundits said of this.

Senator John Kerry: "When I am elected President I will immediately cooperate with the world's leaders and double the earth's magnetic field within 120 days.  No, make that 60, I mean 90 days."

President George W. Bush: "I have always supported the earth's majestic, uhh, magnetic field.  I believe that the Axis of Evil is responsible for this shift in the earth's magenta, uhh, I mean uhh, magnetic axis.  I am giving the magnetic axis 30 days to return to normal. Otherwise I will launch an attack to restore it and I ain't going to the U.N. for any darn permission slip."

Senator John Edwards: "When John Kerry is elected President, he and I will restore the earth's axis to its former greatness. The way it was before this administration's policies allowed it to slip away.  If I am not elected I am going to sue whoever did this."

Vice-President Dick Cheney: "We are not sure who is responsible for f___ing up the earth's magnetic field but I can assure them that they will be f___ing sorry they did this."

Democratic party Chairman Terry McAuliffe: "It is a scientific fact that the weakening
of the earth's magnetic field started almost 150 year ago - the same year as the Republican party
was formed."

Fox New Channel heavyweight Bill O'Reilly:  "Tonight's Talking Points Memo:  We have been telling you for months that there were going to be serious consequences from all of this gangsta rap that has been going out over the public airwaves. The deterioration of values caused by this greedy group of entertainers transmitting their bomb-throwing hateful lyrics by means of radio waves has now caused the earth's magnetic field to start to collapse along with our values."

CNN's Larry King:  "Tonight on Larry King Live we will have exclusive interviews with Jane Fonda, Britney Spears, Ken Lay and four, count 'em four, of the nation's most famous serial killers to discuss the collapse of the earth's magnetic field."

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: I don't know why the earth's magnetic field
has become so girlie-man lately.  I suspect that it is the special interest groups that are behind this.

San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds:  "Just give me $20,000,000 and re-open BALCO and we will get the earth's magnetic field pumped back up again."

Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan:  "Our studies have shown that not withstanding the latency
of hysteresis and the Brobdingnagian proportions of the problem, a measured increase in the earth's magnetic field can be achieved without causing the field's value to become inflated by irrational exuberance."

French President Jacques Chirac:  "I will not tolerate Americans dictating to France and
the other members of the European Union what the value of the earth's magnetic field shall be."

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