Fwd: Important News

Mark Barrett marknbarrett at googlemail.com
Wed Feb 17 22:42:32 GMT 2010

*U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic,
Mutually Shared Illusion*

FEBRUARY 16, 2010 | ISSUE 46•07 <http://www.theonion.com/content/index/4607>


WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy ceased to function this week after unexpected
existential remarks by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke shocked
Americans into realizing that money is, in fact, just a meaningless and
intangible social construct.


Calling it "basically no more than five rectangular strips of paper," Fed
chairman Ben Bernanke illustrates how much "$200" is actually worth.

What began as a routine report before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday
ended with Bernanke passionately disavowing the entire concept of currency,
and negating in an instant the very foundation of the world's largest

"Though raising interest rates is unlikely at the moment, the Fed will of
course act appropriately if we…if we…" said Bernanke, who then paused for a
moment, looked down at his prepared statement, and shook his head in utter
disbelief. "You know what? It doesn't matter. None of this—this so-called
'money'—really matters at all."

"It's just an illusion," a wide-eyed Bernanke added as he removed bills from
his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. "Just look at it:
Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless."

According to witnesses, Finance Committee members sat in thunderstruck
silence for several moments until Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) finally shouted
out, "Oh my God, he's right. It's all a mirage. All of it—the money, our
whole economy—it's all a lie!"

Screams then filled the Senate Chamber as lawmakers and members of the press
ran for the exits, leaving in their wake aisles littered with the remains of
torn currency.


U.S. markets closed as traders left their jobs and resolved for once to do
or make something, anything of real value.

As news of the nation's collectively held delusion spread, the economy
ground a halt, with dumbfounded citizens everywhere walking out on their
jobs as they contemplated the little green drawings of buildings and dead
white men they once used to measure their adequacy and importance as human

At the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday morning's opening bell echoed
across a silent floor as the few traders who arrived for work out of habit
looked up blankly at the meaningless scrolling numbers on the flashing
screens above.

"I've spent 25 years in this room yelling 'Buy, buy! Sell, sell!' and for
what?" longtime trader Michael Palermo said. "All I've done is move
arbitrary designations of wealth from one column to another, wasting my life
chasing this unattainable hallucination of wealth."

"What a cruel cosmic joke," he added. "I'm going home to hug my daughter."

Sources at the White House said President Obama was "still trying to get his
head around all this" and was in seclusion with his coin collection,
muttering "it's just metal, it's just metal" over and over again.

"The president will be making a statement very soon," press secretary Robert
Gibbs told reporters. "At the moment, though, his mind is just too blown to

A few U.S. banks have remained open, though most teller windows are unmanned
due to a lack of interest in transactions involving mere scraps of paper or,
worse, decimal points and computer data signifying mere scraps of paper. At
a Bank of America branch in Spokane, WA, curious former customers wandered
aimlessly through a large empty vault, while several would-be robbers of a
Chase bank in Columbus, OH reportedly put their guns down and exited the
building hand in hand with security guards, laughing over the inherent
absurdity of the idea of $100 bills.

Likewise, the real estate industry has all but vanished, with mortgage
lenders seeing no reason to stop people from reclaiming their
foreclosed-upon homes.

"I don't even know what we were thinking in the first place," said former
banker Nathan Collins of Brandon, MS, as he jimmyed open a door to allow a
single mother and her five children to move back into their house. "A bunch
of people sign a bunch of papers, and now this family has no place to live?
That's just plain ludicrous."

The realization that money is nothing more than an elaborate head game seems
to have penetrated the entire country: In Wilmington, DE, for instance, a
collection agent reportedly broke down in joyful sobs when he informed a
woman on the other end of the phone that he had absolutely no reason to
harass her anymore, as her Discover Card debt was no longer comprehensible.

For some Americans, the fog of disbelief surrounding the nation's epiphany
has begun to lift, with many building new lives free from the illusion of

"It's back to basics for me," Bernard Polk of Waverly, OH said. "I'm going
to till the soil for my own sustenance and get anything else I need by
bartering. If I want milk, I'll pay for it in tomatoes. If need a new hoe,
I'll pay for it in lettuce."

When asked, hypothetically, how he would pay for complicated life-saving
surgery for a loved one, Polk seemed uncertain.

"That's a lot of vegetables, isn't it?" he said.

"We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet /Yet is there no
man speaketh as we speak in the street.”
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