More Anecdotes from the Texas Main Street

I had the opportunity to talk with three folks representing what I think are interesting data points regarding the economic situation and its effects over the last three weeks. Again, comments are paraphrases, not quotes:

From a car repair place: Business is about the same… but folks are being more careful about what they’re repairing. And they’re holding off on repairs, especially if they have high deductibles.

Top Line Liquor From a liquor store owner: I’m still selling. But people (gestures toward single malt scotches), are buying the cheaper stuff, not the expensive. (Points at the bargain, economy priced bourbons and scotches.) More like these, and less (waves hand upward to the $70 bottles) like those. But hey, things will get better eventually. I’m downgrading this guy from owner to manager… clearly he hasn’t looked at credit terms lately.

What’s interesting is that I’m getting a fairly homogenous set of responses (this post and the last) in terms of the economic impact. Everyone seems to be getting hedgy with their investments. Everyone seems to be acting, if not executing, on a more conservative, less confident, track.

I think this is how the 1929 crash started, except they didn’t have folks like me making connections quite as fast. (No, that’s not a reason to self-sensor!) I predict we’ll get to the 8,000 range well before the winter holidays. Unless Obama gets elected, in which case all bets, unfortunately, are off. At least with McCain/Sarah [mammoth hunter] Palin we know where we’re headed. [Okay, that was partisan, but if you’ve been reading this blog… you know where I stand.]