Foreclosures up 23 percent in the latest quarter.
Home prices down nearly 13 percent in the past 12 months.
Consumer confidence at a five-year low.
And a $60 video game they just can't keep on the shelves.
Thousands of eager consumers waiting in lines...in lines...to be among the first to scoop up "Grand Theft Auto IV."
A game that's become a cult.
And a fairly pricey one at that.
60 bucks a pop.
And apparently more than 10 million folks will more than happily pay it.
Because they just want to play it.
They love the graphics, they love the action, and apparently they love the controversial violence.
Even though, I suspect, many of them don't much love this economy.
Things are slowing.
They are not.
Things are bad.
But "Grand Theft Auto" sales are good.
What does a game tell us about the economy?
Not much, save maybe the possibility things aren't nearly so bad as we're told with this economy.
After all, this is a game, a discretionary purchase.
Games and discretionary purchases don't do well when we're not doing well.
Unless we're doing better than experts say we are.
The same experts who are confounded by Apple selling nearly two million iPhones last quarter and more than 10 million iPods too.
Which could explain why MasterCard had a great quarter.
Maybe we're charging this.
Or maybe, just maybe, we're just getting a charge out of this.
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