A September to Remember

A September to Remember by David Haggith for The Great Recession

Try to remember the kind of September,

When life was slow and oh so mellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When grass was green and grain was yellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When you were a tender and callow fellow….

–Tom Jones

As you read this recounting of September’s economic reports, here’s some reminiscent music by Ed Ames in his own autumn years to help you remember better times as a harsh autumn and deep winter appear likely in our future.

We may not want to remember any of 2020 because it has been one of the strangest years any of us have ever known. September, however, gave us a little reprieve — now fading — a calm beneath clouds of black swans that could alight anywhere at any time. These circled the entire world this year like a smokey wreath that has, so far, delivered month after month of dark surprises.

Sure, the stock market fell most of the month, but it started recovering toward the end of September, though it still ended the month down from where it was at the end of August. Then, by the end of the month, we got our first graying news that summer’s economic recovery was waning.

That came in a frosty jobs report that showed the jobs market was cooling off more than economists had expected to see so early in the recovery process, showing us that recovery was not as near or as complete as many had hoped. However, the jobs news at the start of the month was pleasant. (I’ll cover all of that in a separate article, though, because the summer jobs picture was complicated and deserves to stand on its own.)

Reports of how the economy shifted during September, when those reports arrive in October, may be another story; but most of the tales told in September were about what happened in balmy August and through the summer of our economic reopening. So, they recollect back to the slightly sunnier times of summer’s economic reopening.

The political battle remained fairly calm through most of September, and even the riots in the streets grew perhaps a little less noisy. Through the din that did continue, if you listened hard you could maybe, maybe ever so faintly remember the peacefulness of Septembers long past. The black swans of COVID had not, yet, landed upon the White House. Now they are circling it like vultures and could change the course of the election that already looked like a sack of troubles.

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David Haggith

Knave Dave — vigilante against the false profits of The Great Recession Too many criminal CEOs still fill their porky bellies with the biggest taxpayer bailouts in the history of the world. These bailouts protect their reputations, saving them from the fall they should have taken. They continue to receive bonuses for having done an unparalleled job of destroying their companies! Many of their companies wouldn’t be making any profit at all if not for the interest they’re making off of nearly free government bailouts. Just this week Hewlett-Packard fired its CEO, but is still paying him a bonus of millions of dollars in exchange for a year of corporate wandering in the wilderness. Netflix’s CEO cost his company hundreds of thousands of subscribers and had to reverse his decision. Bank of America’s CEO launched a debit-card fee plan that was immediately stupid in the eyes of many, but greed an arrogance led him to think he could pass it by his customers, and he lost customers in droves and had to reverse his decision, as did the many major banks that followed him. Since these corporate leaders do things most of us can immediately see as being dumb, why are they rewarded with salaries a thousand times greater than many of us make?