Ben? Ben? Wake up! You were having that awful nightmare again, the one where you dreamed you were Fed Chairman and the market was tanking and you were running in place and couldn't get anywhere? I've been reading up on recurring nightmares. Let's practice Cataclysm Therapy.
Right. I want you to lie down and re-enter that dream. What do you see?
Market pushing through bedrock, down another 500 points, check. What else?
You see yourself in the bunker with the Fed governors, handing out the cyanide capsules, okay. Now what? A 5 percent interest cut, bringing rates down to, uh, minus 3 percent? Stop right there! Let's rewrite the script, as we Cataclysm Therapists say.
Instead of running from our fears of recession and depression and ruin, let's face them. Make friends with them.
Now listen carefully. I want you to imagine embracing doom. It's our shadow side, like those Junkians or whatever they're called talk about. We need a disaster to make us whole, and it's your throw, baby.
I want you to visualize an infinitely deep well. Too much? All right, try this. A million printing presses, in every city and town in this great land, all of them printing $1,000,000 bills, 24/7. Forget that helicopter drop, are you having Vietnam flashbacks? I want you to see every computer printer in every home and office printing those million dollar bills. For minorities, $2,000,000 bills. What? Well, ask Congress to raise the debt limit by another 50 quadrillion and give 'em all computers and printers. Come on, Ben, get up to speed!
Now think up another war, and make it a cracker this time, not another silly training exercise like Iraq. Iran? You must be joking. Ben, think big. Not Iranian goofballs. Think Russia. Remember the '50s, how those hula-hoops rolled off the assembly lines and we built all those missiles with gorgeous tail fins and we were prosperous? And that was without even a shootin' war. Getting any ideas? Right! Bring it on!
Now let's do some brainwashing, er, brain scanning, no, what do you call it, storm draining or something. Don't limit your imagination. Eh? Send everybody an air conditioner to stimulize them? Keep going. You're on the right track. Five hundred lottery tickets for every man, woman, child, cat, dog, and parakeet? A thousand for every minority parakeet? Great. Keep going!
Guest appearances for everyone on American Idol? Check. A date with Jessica Alba or George Clooney, each to his or her choice? You're getting in the groove, Ben! No, don't start second guessing yourself. What do you mean, there aren't enough of Jessica and George for everybody? Clone 'em! Stop limiting yourself — you're the government, and you're here to help!
Say what? Sell Treasury bonds to extraterrestrials? Ben, I've gotta hand it to you. You're the man.