As a reaction to the stock market's kamikaze-inspired trend, we have entered the era of conspicuous thrift, Bill Bonner tells us:
"No more fancy pants," is a headline at the New York Times. The gist of the accompanying article is that even expensive restaurants are now trying to look cheap. People who still have money to spend don't want to spend it... and when they do spend it, they don't want to look like they are spending it. …
But styles change. Now, people are showing off by NOT spending money. Sound unbelievable? Well, maybe. But our guess is that people are going to find more subtle... and less expensive... ways to wink at each other. Heavy spending is going the way of heavy drinking. It will be seen as vulgar.
My aim for the duration of this crisis is to show my solidarity with those who have been undone by the fission of the Great Credit Bubble. Fortunately, I have had much practice in poverty. I can exemplify conspicuous non-consumption as one to the manner born.
I still have my old, odd-noises-making car: a 1997 Honda Civic. Not only has it been deprived of a good polish job in its lifetime, but has not seen the inside of a carwash in donkey's years. And dig that missing right-side external mirror! I have to confess to a wodge of pride in that. In short, this is a car to look fabulous, my dears, in the parking lot of any McDonald's.
From now on, no more Scotch and soda for me. Strictly Scotch and water.
I will search the back of my closet tonight for those 1984 Nikes. The green mold makes a statement.
And — sniffle, sniffle — excuse me, but you'll notice I'm using only half a Kleenex; this unheated room has given me a case of consumption (inconspicuous, though!) like poor what's-her-name in La Traviata. Although Blogger does not charge me for using its service, I will look at the earliest opportunity for a less expensive blogging platform.
Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to lower your glasses in a toast to new times. Let's make history together.