Wall Street Journal's Hilsenrath follows up on his "humorous" piece
Today. This is actually the nut graph, and it's fourth from the bottom:
The item was signed The Wall Street Journal’s Central Banks team. It was conceived and written only by this reporter.
In other words, Hilsenrath's colleagues, whose email and twitter addresses he so helpfully listed, got a shit ton of feedback. And so we have the "lone ironist, acting alone" thesis. Excellent!
Hilsenrath summarized the feedback this way:
A number commented on the tone of the commentary. While a small number found the tone to be clever, many found it offensive. Some said the item showed this reporter is arrogant, elitist and out of touch with the challenges faced by many Americans. That spoke to a broader mistrust that many respondents expressed toward a wide array of American institutions, including the Federal Reserve, banks, the media, corporations and the Obama Administration. Moreover many expressed a lack of conviction that the U.S. expansion would last, or that it was spreading prosperity beyond America’s elites. Others described serious continuing financial burdens related to high debts, a rising cost of living, health care costs, and a lack of wage growth.
Wake up and smell the coffee, dude! In a way, it almost seems that Hilsenrath was conducting a straw poll, and may not have gotten the results he expected. He concludes:
Judging solely from the responses of Wall Street Journal readers, however, you should not expect a big spending rebound. They say a deep undercurrent of mistrust and economic strain still holds back many Americans, regardless of what the numbers say.
At some point in the past few months, I started noticing that elites were feeling increasingly nervous, as if another crisis were on the way, but I couldn't figure out why; Silicon Valley is frothy, but there's nothing out there -- that I can see, or that anyone has reported -- that is comparable to the accounting control fraud-inflated bubble of mortgage-backed securities, and associated derivative products, that, when it burst, caused the Great Crash of 2008. So I don't know why they're nervous, but nervous they are. Hilsenrath's post and followup could be an indication of that; the elite have gamed their own numbers so much they're worried about flying blind, and so collected anecdotes in the form of email to Hilsenrath's colleagues, and the Comments on his post.
Iffy, very iffy. Quiet, too quiet. Not that these are definitely bad things for people like us, but phrases like "out of touch," "broader mistrust," "lack of conviction," "serious continuing financial burdens," and "and a lack of wage growth" signify stress at all levels of society. Frankly, I think the ancien regime is so ideologically driven -- and deeply corrupt -- that no solution they would propose could possibly be better for us, and so stalemate on their part, and agency on ours, would be the best way forward.