Yardeni on Tony Browns Journal (Firing Line?)

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NOW Sunday 4:30 Channel 41 Primestar

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), July 11, 1999


My Mistake. The Name of the show is Tony Brown's Journal and is on PBS. Yardeni was very good and Tony Brown appeared to be in total agreement with all said. I did not take notes but some of the things discussed were Yardeni's forcast of 30% unemployment, a 7 step program, the why's of Y2k, and what is being done.

The show was taped about Oct. or Nov. of 98 because they talk of 500 days until Jan. 1. I am wondering why they waited until now to air unless it has been aired before.

Yardeni spoke of preparing. He said he has many friends are leaving the cities and moving into rural areas. He personally will stay in his home in a subdivision. He encourages buying canned goods now and to take cash out of the bank now, not wait until Dec. of 99

There is a tape of the show titled The Y2k Alarmist and can be purchased.

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), July 11, 1999.

My guess is this is a re-run (T-500 was in Aug. 98), though Dr. Yardeni hasn't changed his economic assessment of Y2K much over the past year. That 30% unemployment figure sounds way too high, though--not the sort of number that I've heard Yardeni bandy about. After all, unemployment during the depths (1932-33) of the Great Depression reached "only" 25%, albeit stats back then were very unreliable (if you had any sort of income, you were "employed" as far as the feds were concerned)--and Yardeni is not, and has never been, predicting a depression. (Currently he rates the odds of a global depression at only 5%.) He predicts a 45% chance of a severe recession (and a 25% chance of a mild recession); for comparison purposes, during the worst of the severe 1982-83 recession, unemployment peaked at 10.5%. By the way, FWIW, I think Yardeni lives out in a ritzy (surprise, surprise) area of Long Island--East Hampton, which, if memory serves, was the model for "East Egg" in "The Great Gatsby." (Tom and Daisy Buchanan are long gone, of course.) When Yardeni was on PBS "Wall Street Week" back in Dec. 1998 or thereabouts, he told Lou Rukeyser that he had not yet made any personal preps (stored food or whatever) for Y2K and was waiting until June of 1999 to make up his mind on that score. I have no idea what his personal prep plans are now, of course. I've corresponded on several occasions with him via email (strictly "professional," on Y2K/economic matters, especially relating to SE Asia); the last time was in March, when I sent him news of the Japanese FSA Y2K report on the 19 largest Japanese banks. I ain't invited to his house for New Year's Eve, that's all I know. It might be just as well.

Tony Brown has evidently pursued his Y2K researches since his interview with Dr. Yardeni last year, for yesterday (Sat. June 10th) was Brown's initial stint as a talk show host on WLS talk radio in Chicago and he had as his guest Mike Adams, editor of "Y2K Newswire." I listened to the hour-long interview (periodically punctuated by phone calls from worried Chicagoland listeners) via the Internet on RealAudio; there wasn't really anything new, alas, but it was obvious that Mr. Brown, who takes all this very seriously, had made a reasonably prolonged effort to post himself on the subject.

N.B. It was a shock to me to learn that WLS (890 AM) is now a talk radio station. How the mighty have fallen. When I was growing up as a kid in Niles, Michigan, listening to WLS, it was one of the premiere rock-and-roll stations in the country; it featured a line-up of topnotch jocks, including the highest paid jock in the country at the time, Larry Lujack, since retired to (I think) Santa Fe. Lujack was pulling down the princely sum of $25 per hour. (Hey, we're talking way back when.) He used to read each day "the clunk letter of the day"; at the time he was also in the habit of quacking a rubber duck on the air (as Dave Barry says, I am not making this up), so I wrote in to welcome him to the "National Rubber Duckie Association." (The NRDA--not to be confused with the NRA; the NRDA has fewer members and is a trifle less politicized.) At the time, the late Jim Henson, going under the moniker "Ernie," had a popular song out called "Rubber Duckie" ("you're the one--you make bath time lots of fun"; the rest was censored, I think). So Lujack played the song, quacked his duck, read my letter as (suitably) a real clunker, and reminisced (in very politically incorrect terms) about going duck hunting on the farms of local farmers and looking for farmers' daughters afterwards ("because, when noon comes, well, you can't hunt ducks all day").

As a very (very) occasional writer, I find it humiliating to realize that Lujack's "clunk letter" audience was probably the largest audience I'll ever have. The Andy Warhol fifteen minutes of fame, come and gone with a quack of thunder.

If it looks like a (rubber) duck, quacks like a duck, walks (?) like a duck. . . . I would have thought even fleeting fame just ducky, if only I had recognized it.

I make this explanation in case any of you were already doubting my sanity from some of my previous posts and were seeking confirmation of your worst fears. (Hey, confirmation of worst fears is what this forum is all about.) From now on I'll try to stick strictly to Y2K and make all my posts quackerjack. (The first casualty of Y2K: my sanity.)

-- Don Florence (dflorence@zianet.com), July 11, 1999.

Uh, the date of that Brown WLS radio interview with Mike Adams was, of course, Sat., July (not June) 10th. Yes, we have no sanity, we have no sanity today. Where has my sanity gone? Here, sanity, sanity.

-- Don Florence (dflorence@zianet.com), July 11, 1999.

Rubber Ducky, you're the one./ You make bathtime lots of fun./ Rubber Ducky, I'm awfully fond of you./

Rubber Ducky, joy of joys,/ When I squeeze you, you make noise./ Rubber Ducky, you're my very best friend, it's true/

Everyday, when I make my way to the tubby/ I find a little fella that's cute and yella and chubby./ (rub-a-dub dubby)

Can't remember the last verse, Don. And curse you for putting that into my head again after all these years of peace and sanity. Joe Rapozzo, music director for Sesame Street wrote that. I played it on the air in CT til my boss threatened me (and who can blame him?)

Anyone see where I put my sanity, lately??


"It's not easy being green." ---Kermit (also by Joe Rapozzo)

-- (Ses@me.street), July 12, 1999.

Thanks, Zoot. Yep, those lyrics ring a (cracked) bell.

-- Don Florence (dflorence@zianet.com), July 12, 1999.

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