The news is filled with tales of corruption and economic woe. A cold rain falls in the nation's capital. We must look, once more, to baseball for salvation.
More specifically, to the New York Yankees, who hope to ride C.C. Sabathia to the World Series, and so have given the mammoth left-hander a $161 million contract.
$161 million. Yeah, baby. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Confidence. Panache. Muscle. Bucks. American virtues all. And too forgotten in this dreary December.
Phil Gramm had it right. The root causes of this recession—of any recession—are psychological. And the Yankees, god bless 'em, are defying the gloom 'n doom psychology of the day.
Money is nothing but a mass consensual delusion. We all agree that pieces of paper, or blips on a screen, will fairly trade for our time on the planet, and the labor we perform.
Usually, that's enough to drive us forward, searching for new pleasures and toys. But, occasionally, a ripple of anxiety moves through the herd. Society stops to ponder the transaction. We take time to sort out the inequalities and excess.
At these moments, the smart guys and gals look forward. They know that every downturn leads to a boom. They get in on the ground floor, and sell at the roof.
All you need is guts. And the Yankees, the pin-striped darlings of the Kingdom of Guts, are where they always have been—in front of the pack, betting lavishly on the future.
They are far from alone. Right now, there are thousands of brave Americans tinkering on inventions in basements and garages; investing in electric car companies; rising at 4 a.m. to write screenplays; borrowing for grad school or taking advantage of ridiculously low mortgage rates to purchase their first house.
Sell to the sound of trumpets, buy at the sound of cannons. The old Rothschild motto has never been more relevant.
So, bravo Yankees. I still hope my Red Sox stick it to you next summer. But my hat is off to you glorious pin-striped bastards today.