So, while perusing the front page of the NY Times after a killer evening of climbing, I come across an article titled, “Gas pedal Flaws Lead Toyota To Stop Building 8 Models”. It might have well of had an exclamation point at the end. Seriously.
What a fate in this economic climate! To be struck by an internal quality control issue, especially in an industry where quality control is the Achilles heel of a reputation, is a situation that will never go away. How many of you remember that tire issue that Ford Explorer’s had almost a decade ago? The Firestone tires would give way to high speed rollover accidents….really tragic shit. I don’t think they’ve ever fully recovered to that market leading high before then. Explorer’s were the top of the market for the popular SUV. It was the poster boy for the SUV industry.
Anyway….this article is on the front page of the NY Times. Exclamation.
A rare condition causing the recall of 4.8 million vehicles. In a time when you dominate the word’s number one auto market, while your competitors are recovering from a financial one-two punch that has left them tightening their belts and reorganizing themselves, their entities and their debt. Talk about a bad struck of luck.
So what’s the first thing that pops into my mind? At 9am I would be buying puts on Toyota like they were going out of style. Then I would find out who their number one suppliers are and buy puts on them if they’re publicly held. Then I would find out which insurance company was at the foundation of the health-care provider that provided health-care to all of those employees. Scratch that last one, they’d be covered on the new unemployment insurance for a while. But I would find out the service providers that depended on the Toyota production model and buy puts on them too.
Once you realize that there are a ton of other people with the biggest plan you start watching the premiums on these puts going through the roof. So you start selling certain puts and then buying them again when the supply increases from others thinking like you are. Before you know it, you’ve doubled your money and someone else is collecting unemployment now too. Then you start looking for exotic derivatives that tie global aluminum into being the correlate for the yen and how it is a proxy for Toyota stock. That’s the evil wizard behind the drape pulling levers and mixing potions type of shit.
Since most folks will never get within arms length of people who take part in that side of the financial industry we turn to a different indicator of public health besides the financial indicators that reduce the health of our existence down to an index. That is when we turn to the life we live every day and look around at the signs. There are a few less gas stations these days and if you’re in the market for a home it’s a great time to buy. And people are drinking more and doing less sport…or are they. What of these not-cheap habits that are fundamental in the who-we-are and how-we-are sequences that make up our lives? And this is how I get back to climbing.
At the climbing gym tonight it was pretty busy. Tuesdays and Thursdays always are, but today was pretty crazy. Tonight I was pretty lucky. I was climbing with two great individuals and the session was something that had a life of its own. Before I had realized it, there was no more skin on my hands, I had reacquainted with two or three people that I hadn’t seen in years and I was still climbing. It’s hard to complain about that, especially considering the updates people had been giving me on their lives.
There are so many professionals out of work right now. IT folk, mortgage peeps, builders…and a lot of them. But what I thought was even crazier is that somehow, someway, they’ve still found the psyche to go climbing and pursue something that they enjoy and identify with. Be it from their savings or government aid, it is something that still allows you to enjoy a part of your life even when the days get dark.
Hooray for climbing. I think we’ve made it full circle. Isn’t that always fun. Though if you’re looking for a car these days I’d say take a look VWs. My Golf has brought me to a lot of incredible climbing spots.
Maybe the next thing will be on wind power or home remodeling…ciao