Today, you’re one year old. Oh, I know, your predecessors have been around for decades and even almost centuries. You’re as old as that story about tulips in Holland! That’s old as hell, I don’t even think Socrates existed when there were tulips in Holland. For sale. For way more money than they were worth! Tulip mania! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz–

Ah sorry, Baby Stock Market, I fell asleep during my own retelling of that tired-ass story. Only trotted out by traders about 30% as often as the irrational/solvent chestnut, but inexcusable nonetheless. Especially because you’re a new market! Not that same ol’ boring one we used to have to put up with, but fresh-minted from the refried ashes Pandibell sprinkled over us like pixie-dust the weekend of March 7-8, 2009. That’s a year ago now, and every year, you get to have a “birthday”. Yay!

I gotta tell ya kid, some of us are just. so. proud. Not to mention rich, in a way that only an overleveraged faux-capitalist mainlining apparatchik handouts and tugging on longs like a 14-year-old in the dark can possibly appreciate. In other words, you’re just the synergy of Wealth and Power we’ve narrowed ourselves down to dreaming of.

Oh, enough praise! What I want to tell you, Baby Market, in celebration of you turning One Year Old, is the real secret of your super-specialness:  You have three mommy-daddys!

  • M/D #1: The Prince of Darkness, in whose crafty shemale/himlady eye you became a glimmer with an intraday low of $SPX 666 the Friday before Pandibell got his fateful clap.
  • M/D #2: The U.S. government and Federal Reserve under two different administrations, actually a much more enthusiastic daddy-mommy than the Lord of the Underworld: daddy-Fed pumping mommy-money supply full of paper-like “cloth”, mommy-Treasury vacuuming the purchasing-power spunk right out of the next two or three generations of a daddy-nation of hapless taxpayers and feeding them like Viagra-filled crack-powdered donuts to…
  • M/D #3: Now, all babies want to know where they truly come from. It’s complicated in your case, and I’ll save the mechanics of it for your terrible twos, but suffice to say that when the archfiend and socialist finance get together and rub up against a bunch of playas still calling themselves capitalists despite having lost the game and the casino both until said rubbing reanimated them, well, new “markets” are bound to emerge! Like you! Now it’s tough to say just who’s the daddy and who’s the mommy in the case of M/D #3, because a whole shitload of anonymous fucking went on. The favored gender-neutral term is Wall Street.

Now that is a wonderful, wonderful family story, even if it fails the proposed Constitutional definition of marriage. Most kids only get two parents, just “actual people” with boring “unemployment benefits”, while it took the Scion of Eternal Night, a Government, and a morally and mathematically penniless “Banking” “Industry”, with the dazed blessing of an entire nation of said “actual people”, to produce little ol’ bloated, shameless, ultimately destructive you!

Oh I’m sorry. I may have just used some naughty words on you, Baby Stock Market, and on your birthday, too! It just slipped out. But I may as well tell you: there are those of us who can’t help but believe you’re a figment, even less real than Pandibell’s job qualifications, off the reality charts, out near healthy processed food and the war on terror. Now we may be meanies, but it’s really not our fault. We try and try to like you because babies are cute, and because knee-jerk optimism runs even deeper in our cultural bloodstream than self-reinforcing greed, but despite our best efforts, some among us are hindered. Tripped up by a failure of evolution in fact, stuck with a  chromosome of which newer models like you are blessedly free, a microscopic squiggle soon to be expunged from the American gene pool, gender-neutrally called the responsible truth.

Now lacking the ribosomes and having lived so briefly, you can hardly be expected to understand the expression. But even if you live another hundred years, so help us all, nurture will not giveth what nature hath taken away. Your parents are never gonna have That Talk with you, about the Facts of Life, because your birth is just another notch in the Rising Factless Epoch. Does vestigial truth help politicians get re-elected, help them hold on to their sinecures, their pork, their junkets, their mistresses past and future, their second homes? Does it help Streeters earn massive salary bonuses for gambling when they win and massive socialist bonuses for gambling when they lose, to hold on to their third and fourth houses, their stunning lack of moral compass, their delusions of mattering even slightly beyond their financial derring-do? Not in this century, you little devil. The only fact of life that matters is that truth is disappearing in a kind of natural/cultural selection. That’s the wonder of evolution, after all, though it fails the proposed Constitutional definition of science.

Oh, I know, the timing’s wrong for any version of That Talk, and I’m using a lot of big words for a one-year-old. All you need to know now is no, the truth doesn’t signify in your family. Not even to the Arcangel of Discordium, who looks comparatively unsullied in this little ménage à trois.

No, it’s all about fiction. You’re a fiction, born of deliberate make-believe. Now that makes you really and truly special–most real children only get told make-believe stories once or twice a day, maybe at bedtime when they’re already sooo sleepy, but you live make-believe all the time, and you never get tired! When real babies are learning to walk, they “fall” “down”, because they have to contend with this thing called “mean reversion”. But you haven’t fallen down even once in your whole life! You just run and run, sometimes sideways, mostly forward, up, whatever, let’s not split hairs over direction in zero gravity. Sure, you nearly stumbled once or twice, but there were your parents right behind you, picking you up and promising you that if you just keep running, we all get ahead.

And that’s why today isn’t just a birthday for you. So many people have worked so hard, ignoring a raft of real problems affecting real individuals one at a time, real crisis in the real economy, and the real future of this whole nation’s real well-being, to bring make-believe little you up just right. It’s a star turn, not some HO-scale “personal life lived”, and as everyone knows, in this country, when we see real effort devoted to fictional achievement of truly dubious quality, it’s time for an award show.

So today, Baby Market, we honor you with an Oscar® from the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences. Now, we could have nominated you in so many categories, Best Costumes, Best Original Screenplay, Outstanding Special Effects, Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role… Alas, they gave all those away in pure disrespect the other night. And I wrote in suggesting they create a category especially for you, Most Supported Actor, but I suppose they ran out of time. They always run long, just like you!

But even though the ceremony™ may have ended, the footlights dimmed and the greasepaint cold-creamed away, it’s still Your Day, and here it is: your Lifetime Achievement Academy Award® for Outstanding Contribution to Drama in the Motion Industry! Go on, take it, you little mover and shaker you. Hold it in your chubby little iron fist for a minute. Stick it in your mouth like a pacifier.

Now you’re only a baby stock market of course, so you may be wondering why we gave you one of those awards they® save as consolation prizes for the industry playas being put out to pasture because no one remembers just what it is they do. Might sound a little premature, I know, but I’ll let you in on a little secret, B.S. Market: y’know those guys I mentioned a thousand words back, the markets that came before you? Your predecessors, though not necessarily your ancestry? Well, they may be down, but they’re not out. In fact, rumor has it several of them are huddled up in the closet under your stairs, just waiting for the M/Ds to drift off for a little snoozy-woozy. And these old-ass markets are packing a supermarket’s-worth of plastic bags, toolbelts full of meathooks, and a very healthy appetite for roast infant laureate.

Anyway, enough Grimm fairy tales–as I said, today is Your Day. The fact that nearly every weekday has been yours this last year shouldn’t diminish that. From my kids and their kids and all our nation’s children to one little temporary, make-believe you: enjoy the party, and enjoy the Award Experience®↔™. Here’s a little part(y)ing zinger for ya: Just the other day, there went lovable sprite and likely sperm source Pandibell, repeating the exact same damn story about short-sellers, irrationally solvent banks, blah blah blah, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz–

Oh, my bad. The same story he was telling the weekend you were spawned. Fictive waters run deep! Only this time, he was telling it to Congress! Are your mommy-daddys starting to squabble? Perhaps Pandibell is concerned since the Unseen Hand is about to stop clapping so hard. I’m sure it’s just talk; it’s been quite a while since our government or our financial sector successfully carried out any meaningful action, especially against one another. (Ripping the country apart at the seams doesn’t count–giving birth is hard work.)

Anyway, I wouldn’t worry. Especially given that should M/Ds 2 and 3 fail to reconcile their differences, #1 stands ready to take immediate and permanent custody of you. A cozy place–riverfront views!–where you’ll finally be able to quit running, and have plenty of time and all kinds of step-siblings, with shelves and shelves full of trophies just like yours.

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