Beware of Boomer Bears

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最新一期的《新聞周刊》 Newsweek 有一篇很有意思的短文,大膽把美國這場金融海嘯歸咎于戰後出生的嬰兒潮(boomers)。

文章說﹕隨著這七千九百萬戰後嬰兒年紀漸老化,美國的經濟開始反映他們的行徑。世紀初的科網股爆破發生于戰後嬰兒步入中年。今天他們準備退休了,經濟的發展也被他們拖慢。

這說法表面上看有點像歪理;明明白白是華爾街的貪心鬼惹的禍,怎麼可以把責任推給七千九百萬無辜的百姓呢?

但再仔細想想﹕ boomers 一代人從沒親身經歷過戰亂,生活經驗與歷練都很淺,只有消費最在行﹕不光消費品可以消費,連投資、政治、移民甚至宗教信仰很多時候也以消費者的直覺而為之。樂由此出,但禍也由此起!

我上海的一位好友每見淺薄之輩,都很不以為然的噴出「膚淺」兩個字。如皮膚之淺, skin deep ,所以 Boomer Bears 也可名為 Boomer Skinners

Boomer Skinners 之可笑復可憐!

更可悲的是﹕我也是 Baby boomers 的一份子!

但是怕也沒有用;奉勸以後無論走到那裏,都要慎防 Boomer Bears

 

 

Newsweek

原文
BOOMER BEARS
By Barrett Sheridan
Saturday, June 20, 2009

There's no shortage of scapegoats in the credit boom and bust: exotic derivatives, overpaid executives, baby boomers. Yes, the generation that brought us hippies, then yuppies, then old people on Facebook is a culprit in the economic crisis. As the 79 million boomers have aged, the U.S. economy has reflected their habits. It's no coincidence that the dotcom bubble and the early-2000s credit boom happened when boomers reached middle age-consumer spending peaks around age 46. Now, as boomers close their wallets and prepare to retire (the oldest of them became eligible for Social Security in 2008), they'll start dragging down the economy instead of propping it up. "Baby boomers have peaked," says investment manager Harry Dent, who has long warned of this coming demographic crisis. "They're going to slow the economy down for the next 12 to 14 years." This is exactly what happened in Japan, where an enormous asset boom crashed in 1990 just after a big chunk of the population hit middle age. Japan's economy never recovered, and the Nikkei is still about 75 percent below its 1989 high. Could the same thing happen in the U.S.? One piece of evidence suggests yes: the U.S. today has a median age of 37, roughly the same as in Japan 20 years ago. Only one consequence seems certain, however: we're in for another round of boomer navel gazing.

 

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