I stepped into the local bakery while on my lunch break, and stood next to a booth in which a group of people were discussing the current banking/real estate crisis. I should point out that I was standing in line, and the line went by the booth. No, I'm not that creepy guy who walks into eateries and looms over booths uninvited, no matter how much I may look like the picture on the wall at the post office.
But I digress.
I was in line next to a booth which held an elderly couple (the male half of which was wearing a baseball cap with the word "GRANDPA" emblazoned across the front), and a young couple. From what I could gather, the male half of the young couple worked in finance in some capacity or another.
The young fellow was discussing the current banking/real estate problems, and the conversation went like so:
Young Turk: "Japan had a similar problem back in the 90's. The government refused to allow the banks to fail, but they may have done more harm than..."
Old feller: "The Japanese make fine cars. Those Toyotas and Hondas. Fine Cars."
Young Turk: "Umm, yeah...well, anyway, the Japanese government may have set up a precedent by which the banks have become reliant for bail-outs, and this may have changed the practices of the banks. You see..."
Old Feller: "Japan also has a high suicide rate."
At this point, I moved up in line and didn't hear the rest.
But I will say this - when I get to that guy's age, I want to be the odd old codger who stops conversations about finance to talk about cars and suicide rates.