The Reason for the Season
And it came to pass in those days that a joint decree went out from the World Trade Organization and Alan Greenspan that the nations of the world should increase their economies' respective GDPs by the mass consumption of goods and services. All went to their local department stores to purchase breadmakers, Playstations, DVDs and other assorted consumer items.
Joseph also traveled to IKEA because he'd heard the store's advertisements about buying with no money down, no payments for six months, and free delivery. He went with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting the birth of an infant consumer.
While they were searching for a parking place, the time came for Mary to be delivered of her goods. And she gave birth to her firstborn and wrapped him in bands of receipts, tissue paper, and bubble wrap at Walmart because there was no room at the IKEA.
In that region, there were stock, currency and commodity brokers living in their cubicles, staring at their computer screens, keeping watch over the Dow, Nasdaq and futures markets by day and by night.
Then, an angel of capitalism, Adam Smith, disguised as a UPS driver, stood before them. They were much afraid and reached for their Palm Pilots, cell phones and concealed weapons but Adam waved his invisible hand and said unto them: "Fear not, for I bring you forecasts of great market activity, in both the short and long run. For unto you is born this day, in the home furnishings department of Walmart, a babe consumer who is named Santa Claus. And this shall be a sign to you: All things being equal, you shall find the young spender wrapped in receipts and tissue paper in a gift basket marked twenty percent off."
And suddenly with the holy economist there rose a multitude - Ricardo, Friedman, Keynes, Galbraith, Thurow, even Engels, along with a smattering of institutional investors and corporate CEOs - praising the Almighty Dollar proclaiming: "Glory to free markets in the highest and on Earth, economic growth, without inflation; sales and profits exceeding targets, and higher earnings per share to all people."
When Adam Smith departed, the brokers said to one another: "Let's rid ourselves of bonds, and purchase growth sector stocks, and then see this value added thing which has come to pass, which the Almighty Dollar hath made known to us."
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the infant human capital. And when they had seen it, they returned to their cubicles and made it known throughout the free market, via emails and phone calls to the Wall Street Journal, Market Watch and CNN, glorifying and praising the things they had heard and seen.
And all who heard it marveled at the coming bull market told to them by analysts, columnists, and commentators, especially at Quicken.com and Fool.com.
But Mary treasured these things in her investment portfolio and secured an attorney on retainer.
Then there came to Walmart wise venture capitalists from Wall Street and Silicon Valley, asking, "Where is he that is born king of the consumers? For we have seen his ads on television and in the pull-out sections of major metropolitan newspapers and are come to help finance his startup and get in on the ground floor of his IPO."
And lo, the data which they gleaned from MSNBC and Reuters and Bloomberg led them to the intersection of supply and demand curves in the sky over the store where the infant entrepreneur was. When they saw the young financier's business/revenue model, they were overwhelmed with joy and fell down and presented him with convergent technologies, skilled labor, capital, natural resources, and all other factors of production.
And having been warned by the Securities and Exchange Commission not to leak this insider information, they departed for their boardrooms and deducted the trip as a business expense.
pictures Terry Colon