What you can learn from watching television

I’m not an economist of any kind, and have yet to figure out what a credit swap is. However, my lack of knowledge has not kept me from noticing things… especially almost two years ago, when I was lying in my bed that we had set up in the TV room where I stayed during the first couple of months or so after I was home from my cancer surgery.

At that time, about all I could do was sit in bed and watch TV for enough contiguous hours to notice patterns in advertising (also patterns in the story lines of various true crime shows, but that’s neither here nor there). Almost all of a three or four minute commercial break was, during those days, occupied by two sorts of commercials: commercials for credit cards, and commercials for debt consolidation services and refinancing companies. After a few days of this, I began to conclude that something was up. I could get nobody to believe me at the time, that there was a great consumer demand for both acquiring credit that the consumer didn’t have, and dealing with the nasty side-effects of having that much credit extended to you.

Nobody believed me that a nasty crisis was going to happen because they thought it was “just the painkillers talking” or somesuch. I wonder if they’ll believe me now…. Stranger things have happened.