WASHINGTON, DC—In a major step toward establishing a more "soothing and peaceful" U.S. economy by Fiscal Year 1998, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan announced yesterday that he will make the prime lending rate undulate relaxingly, moving back and forth in a restful, wavelike motion.
Noting the severely jarring ups and downs that have characterized the nation's economy over the last 18 months, Greenspan told a meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee:
"We will manipulate the money supply in such a way that Americans feel as though they are being pleasantly lofted on a gentle ocean wave, up and down, up and down, crest following trough and trough following crest, over and over and over, until they are floating rhythmically, happily, dreamily, on an undulating sea of economic prosperity."
Said noted Harvard University economist Laurence Stockbridge: "Ahhhhhh."
If successful, Greenspan's fiscal policy should greatly increase the soothing, stress-reductive and pleasantly rocking qualities of our nation's economic graphs, and also significantly reduce sensations of grating, annoying or shrill alarmism on the part of economists themselves, long considered to be one of America's leading causes of hypertension and migraine headache pain.
Greenspan's announcement was greeted by bipartisan enthusiasm.
"In the past four years, I believe the U.S. has made strong economic progress," President Clinton said. "I do admit, however, that much of this progress has been attained in a somewhat rough, herky-jerky fashion. Mr. Greenspan's plan should help make the U.S. economy once again the world's most restful."
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Thomas Ronson (R-PA) also praised the new policy, saying it will "no doubt 'take the edge off,' removing a lot of those jagged, pointy lines, the ones with all the sharp peaks and valleys, from our nation's graphs."
By and large, Wall Street analysts are expressing pleasant sensations of muscular relaxation at the Fed's move, as well. Ted Danziger, Economic Policy Analyst for Merrill Lynch, said yesterday that the shift in policy is "already having a strong effect, especially down there in the lumbar region... Oooh, yeah, right there. Yessssss."
Greenspan explained that his plan, which will involve a regular, waterbed-like vibration of currency issuance and lending rates, was inspired by Japanese economist Tokuba Mashimoto, who told him Japan's success was "due to the incorporation of restful shiatsu techniques in national fiscal policy."
Mashimoto also strongly advised Greenspan to take deep breaths and exhale slowly, and cited reclining in a prone position with gentle caressing from a loved one or professional prostitute as a "particularly effective economic policy."