Welcome to the First Great Recession of the Twenty-Somes. As the economy sheds jobs, industry giants stumble and fall, and governments hemorrhage cash, I’m fairly sure there will be stories to tell:
Good-bye Pontiac. Should I shed a tear for your departure? Perhaps had you treated us better I might have felt badly. But, we in our moment of prenuptial frustration turned to you for an economy car and you sold us — yes, an inexpensive vehicle but also — the indifferent and often corrupt service that has left me with the last laugh at your demise. Tell me where they bury you so I can… oh, never mind.
This morning I drove past the largest auction in Canadian history. (CBC Radio placed the claim, thus that is my reference.) From the highway it was a sea of yellow equipment parked in a massive industrial lot, patiently waiting for three forthcoming days of deeply discounted post-oil-boom bargains as the quiet, privately-insolvent companies liquidate their inventories of expensive tools and toys. That kind of sale — and likely the prices things go for over the next couple days — is about as public an indicator as one can get of the health of unlisted, private companies and should scare any economy-watcher much more than some measly thousand-point drop on the TSX. Anyone need a big piece of yellow equipment? Cheap? You’ve still got time to put in your bid.