A Marketplace broadcast from 2033

Marketplace in the future

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: I read something this morning that both gave me pause, and it gave me a little bit of hope. Somebody had done the calculations before the open and figured out that at the rate we're going, the Dow is going to hit zero in just 19 more trading days. So that was the pause part, obviously.

The part that gave me hope was the realization that somehow this thing is going to end. And when it does, we'll be here for you -- mo matter how long it takes. The Marketplace Players have somehow managed to tune in a Marketplace transmission -- from 25 years in the future.


The Marketplace Players:

TANO SOKOLOW as Elderly Kai Ryssdal; BRENDAN NEWNAM as Brace Mulhardy; JIM WALLACE as Warren Buffett and ROBERT REICH and TONY BLANKLEY as themselves

"Marketplace 2033 Theme" by JAMES RICHTER.

Written by RICO GAGLIANO with BRENDAN NEWNAM (Check out their podcast, "The Dinner Party Download" at www.dinnerpartydownload.com)


Kai Ryssdal: General Motors' new solar-powered rocketpack converts pollution into fresh, clean water. And it turns GM stock into gold. It's Oct. 10, 2033, and this is Marketplace. I'm elderly Kai Ryssdal. First up, remember the global financial crisis of '08? Me too, barely. A surprisingly youthful-sounding Rico Gagliano reminds us of those dark days and how they got brighter.

Rico Gagliano: It was a time of fear.

After the implosion of the Fed in late 2008, even newly-elected President couldn't prevent foreign investors from fleeing the dollar. Brace Mulhardy is an economic historian at Google.com University in Googleburgh, California.

Brace Mulhardy: Oh, I remember 2008 - how could I forget? I was a 12-year-old boy, my father took me to the world series -- which the Phillies ended up winning that year -- and the hot dog guy came by, and they cost $15,000.

But then a new leader emerged.

Warren Buffett: I, Warren Buffett, solemnly swear to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.

Robert Reich -- the Steve Jobs Professor of Public Policy at iBerkeley -- remembers.

Robert Reich: You know, there was a lot of skepticism that somebody in his late 90s could take on the responsibilities of president. But you know, those miracle anti-aging drugs around 2015 helped a lot. And Warren, well, he owned basically all of America and most of the rest of the world, so it was just, really a matter of changing his title. And then shifting the capital from Washington to Omaha.

Reich means capital as in "capital city." But President Buffett also shifted plenty of his own capital, to America's banks. Tony Blankley is a commentator on KCRW's "Left Right and Center," and former columnist for The Washington Times, now of course known as The Omaha Times.

Tony Blankley: What he did was go to the regional banks, and then he just gave them hundreds of billions of his own money. Quite literally, he just pulled the money out of his wallet. He had the Treasury print up hundred-billion-dollar bills so they'd be easy to carry.

The move wasn't unprecedented.

Blankley: Uh, JPMorgan did something similar during the financial crisis of 1907. Of course, JPMorgan wasn't also president. But Warren's a solid and reliable man and I'm sure he'll relinquish power in a decade or so. Uh, perhaps.

And now, investors from China to our new Cyborg neighbors in galaxy M79 are lining up to cash in on the American Market. For this hot economy, even the sky is no longer the limit.

From the island of Los Angeles, I'm Sir Rico Gagliano for Marketplace.

About the author

Rico Gagliano co-hosts and co-produces Marketplace’s “Small Talk” segment.

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