Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When Black Friday Comes

Back after Thanksgiving. The prognosticators are calling for a touch of snow and deep chills around here, so it will be a good day to stay home.

"Got a Black Friday shopping strategy?" an article in the Chicago Tribune asked yesterday. "If not, you're likely to waste a lot of time and effort on the madcap day after Thanksgiving."

Madcap day, eh? Is Harold Lloyd going to hit the stores? But I do have a shopping strategy for "Black Friday." Namely, stay home. And I don't mean stay home to shop on line. I might waste some time, but it won't be in pursuit of more things to add to our large collection of things.

Also, we need to come up with a new name for the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday sounds like a stock market crash or other financial dislocation. In fact it refers to any number of events, some financial, including the popping of a gold bubble -- artificially inflated by Jay Gould and James Fisk -- on Friday, September 24, 1869.

"The economic fallout caused stock prices to fall 20%, export agricultural products (mainly grain crops) to plummet over 50%, several brokerages to go bankrupt, and severe disruption in the national economy for months," notes The New York Times regarding the 1869 Black Friday. Something to think about for those gold-starry-eyed folks who dream of a return to the gold standard.

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