Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Money Talk

The New York Times reports that Yale's endowment has taken a 13.4% nosedive.

Mr. Madoff made off with a lot of rich folks' cash.

Funds are shutting down all over the place.

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that "broke" is the new chic? And there's a corollary: No one raises an eyebrow at the phrase "I'm too cheap"any more. It's cool to be cheap.

I can think of a long list of people who were ahead of their time in this respect. I once had a roommate who wouldn't let our friend across the hall come over and do her ironing, on the grounds that it used up our electricity. Time was such behavior would be labeled "pathological." Now it's "savvy," or some such word.

Suddenly I feel much better about the pile of clothes I've been meaning to take to the drycleaners for the past, oh, two years I guess. I hate to pay drycleaning bills. But now I can say it with pride. "I'm too cheap." I'm right in step with fashion.

Think of what the new cheap chic will spare us. Christmas shopping just got one heck of a lot easier: don't do it! Entertaining becomes effortless: no food! Vacation? Turn up the heat, turn on the tube and stare at a video of Polynesia. Isn't this relaxing?

Fashion is another issue. Here in Minnesota, of course, it basically doesn't exist. Or at least it doesn't matter. If it keeps the frostbite at bay, it's fashionable. You can wear the same LLBean parka for fifteen years and everyone will still admire your good sense. "Heck of a company, that Bean!"

Yeah. Cheap feels cooler every minute. Soon we'll be having contests to see who's cheapest. Cheap-offs. If my old roommate is reading this: your moment has arrived!


bearing said...

Yeah, I saw it coming when the NYT published an article entitled "Cabbage, an Inexpensive Nutritional Powerhouse."

Ray from MN said...

Yale's endowment is down 13%?

How much was it up over the past, say 15 years, when they were investing with Madoff?

There was an interesting article in the NYT yesterday that said that there was a Federal Court decision that said that investors with Ponzi-scheme-crooks, even if they lost their shirts, will be responsible for the losses of other victims, thus, losing their shorts, too.