The wind swirled the newspapers around in a funnel-shaped cloud of debris in the poor section of Montreal. These newspapers work as good insulation if stuffed in the ragged, cast-off summer jackets that can be found at the Sally Ann or at one of the numerous jam-packed shelters for the homeless.

One such newspaper settled on one poor guy, who was grateful when he noticed that it was today’s paper. After a quick discretionary swig of his plonk (a term for cheap wine), he quickly read of the doom-and-gloom highlighted on the front page, which focussed on the perils of investing in these troubled times. Hmm, he pondered, just as well I don’t have money, because it will just disappear without a trace anyways. Anyone who invests in the market today is a fool.

He looked for the comics page, but it wasn’t there. Then he stuffed the paper into his jacket. Determined that he was good for the night, he settled down as close as he could get to the air exchange on the secluded part of the alley, thankful that it was pumping out hot air. Whoever owned this building didn’t seem to know that a recession was on and didn’t seem to care if the energy being used could be recycled to heat the building. So what, their loss the guy thought, and fell into a warm sleep.

Further north, where it’s much colder, the price of gold skyrockets to nearly a grand an ounce for the good stuff. The unhappy valley is once again enriched back to its former glory as the valley of gold. It is bustling with enterprises related to large development, where diamond drilling is becoming the new standard for employment. “If there’s gold or minerals in them thar hills, go git it!” seems to be the buzz-phrase in the hallowed halls of boardrooms in Toronto and in Vancouver.

Further north in Eeyou Istchee, the development boom is nearly peaking and permanent jobs will be harder to get, unless you can speak fluent French and have some solid educational background and an honest employer to boot. The recession seems to be felt mainly by the owners of the contracts. But heck, big money is big money, no matter which way you look at it. The price of gas has settled into a comfort zone, but the rising prices that gouge our pocketbooks don’t seem to go down in relation to the rest of the world. Heck, high prices are normal here. It doesn’t matter anyways, people will have to pay bootleg prices for milk and other necessities, just like they did ever since the first store opened back in the day.

Whatever the case may be, and wherever you may be, you know that there’s a recession which might even lead to a depression. It doesn’t matter who you are, you know that as a fact. These days all you hear in the news is about the auto industry in crisis, the lower rates to entice borrowers, the massive layoffs and companies shutting down. You don’t have to be an expert to know that the economy is in bad shape. Heck, even the bum on the street knows that.

So what happened to us and our money? Didn’t we know there was a recession and that the stock markets are so bad that you need at least half a trillion dollars to survive in this risky financial environment. If this is an indicator of our future as a nation, then we might as well use barometers – like the groundhog on Groundhog Day – to tell us what to do. Perhaps some accuracy could be found in the daily horoscope, or even in the funny pages of the newspaper that were missing from that poor soul’s paper on the streets of Montreal.