Now that the “green shoots” theory has been shot full of holes, economy observers are gazing down the tunnel, looking for a new light. They’ve come up with “recession fatigue.” At Forbes and other places, experts are advising businesses on how to profit from the recovery that will come when consumers get so darn tired of not spending money that they’ll go out and start shopping again, eating at expensive restaurants and taking those trips to the Cote d’Azur that they weren’t taking six months ago. “Recession fatigue is absolutely real,” says some guy named Stephen Roseman, head of a hedge fund called Thesis Capital. We don’t understand exactly what hedge funds do (does anyone?) but if they don’t have better theses than recession fatigue, maybe you should look for another place to put all that disposable income you don’t have.
The “new midlife crisis.” The Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes entrepreneurship, says aging baby boomers will lead the economy out of the downturn by starting their own businesses. In a study titled “The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom,” the Kauffman Foundation says that, contrary to popular belief, there are far more entrepreneurs in the 55-64 age group than in the 20-34 age group (which has the lowest rate of entrepreneurship). Maybe those boomers will start some fancy bistros and European travel agencies to cater to all of us with recession fatigue.
How to spy on your employees. AT&T, the company that helped the Bush administration illegally intercept the phone calls and e-mails of ordinary people all over Americans, has come up with a way for employers to spy on their workers. It’s called Xora. It’s a GPS application bosses can load on workers’ phones to track their whereabouts every minute. So if old Larry the salesman is spending half the day at Starbucks, he won’t be able to keep it a secret anymore. Luckily, we work at home, so we shuffle off for a venti latte anytime.
Pope curses capitalism. We’re not real religious but we were happy to see Pope Benedict come out swinging in his latest encyclical. According to pope spokesman Stefano Zamagni, old Ben thinks capitalism is effectively “obsolete” and should be replaced with an economic system that is not driven by the maximization of profits. Pass the holy wine! We’ll drink to that. Our driving force has never been the maximization of profits, as evidenced by our paycheck.