Dallas Federal Reserve president and chief executive officer Richard Fisher, pictured at right, spoke today in front of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations. As always, the text of his speech -- titled, hysterically, "Historical Perspectives on the Current Economic and Financial Crisis (With Reference to Paul Volcker, Washington Irving, Walter Bagehot, Mother Caris, Rube Goldberg and Bismarck)" -- is available on the Dallas Federal Reserve's Web site. And it's a good and depressing read this week before Christmas, so do dig in. The lead?
The most cogent description of this year's economic developments might best be summarized by a woman who, having just commiserated with her accountants, put it this way: "This has been like the divorce from hell: My net worth has been cut in half and I'm still stuck with my husband." The mood and pace of the economy have shifted from near bliss to acrimony and an almost palpable sense of betrayal. Many of our fellow citizens feel trapped in an unsustainable situation.
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In short, thing's will get better ... some day ... maybe. Because, right, they just have to. Still, Fisher's a funny guy. Notice that last line there: "With that cautionary note, I think I have said enough, Mr. Mayor. If you wish, I would be happy to take questions from the audience -- as long as everybody keeps their shoes on." Be sure to tip your waitstaff, and, as always, do try the veal. --Robert Wilonsky