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business

pulling the plug

I once worked in a cubicle across from a really nice guy. He was truly a caring, calm, and level-headed person in all regards, and spent most of his time doing work on his high-end desktop.

Back then, computers made noise when they worked, and you actually had to wait for things to happen when you clicked somewhere. A particularly large project locked the computer up. The fan whirred. His cursor froze, an eternal hourglass.

Frustrated, out of character, he viciously kicked the computer under the desk.

It came back to life.

Over the past couple of weeks, the economy has gotten a kick in the pants.

The plug wasn’t pulled. The computer wasn’t restarted. It was just kicked. Given a gentle nudge.

In the matter of two weeks, we saw the Dow drop by 10,000 points. Billions – or trillions, it’s hard to know at this point – of dollars fled the market.

But the plug wasn’t pulled.

It will, eventually – forever growth is simply impossible – but this was merely a temporary jolt, a reset, a settling of capital. A reckoning of the most vulnerable.

We’ll be seeing the worst of the worst falter. GameStop, for instance, is a relic of days past. It’s the Blockbuster of today’s world. Why have thousands of retail stores focused on games, when most people simply download their latest PS4 game straight from Sony?

If all goes as expected, a two-week chaos period should be the death knell of all the GameStops of the world. (Of course, some things aren’t the fault of the businesses, but of regulation. When a small cafe is forced to close by law, that’s pretty much out of their control).

We’re going to see some upset, but this isn’t the crash.

This isn’t the Greater Depression.

This is the precursor.

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