THE BLOG
02/25/2013 02:14 pm ET Updated Apr 27, 2013

The Bright Side of Sequesters and Cliffs

As the threat of the so-called "financial sequester" looms nearer and nearer, we should all try to look on the bright side: We are getting way better at coming up with cool names for financial crises.

A fiscal cliff? A financial sequester? Those are some seriously awesome names. Cliffs are exciting as hell. And sequester? Don't even get me started. So much fun in one word.

For some perspective, let's just take a quick look at the US financial crises of the 18th and 19th centuries. There was the Panic of 1792, the Panic of 1796, the Panic of 1819, the Panic of 1837, the Panic of 1857, okay. We get it. People were panicking a lot back then. That or the Association for Naming Financial Crises really sucked.

We started getting a little more creative in the 20th century, what with the Stock Market Crash. Crashes are always fun. For one, they're the only real reason anyone watches Nascar. Unfortunately, this particular crash led to a Depression. And that's really not that great of a word. It's kind of depressing.

To be fair, history does have its fair share of cool-sounding financial crises. There's a good amount of bubbles. Bubbles are great. Who doesn't like a good bubble? And bubbles burst! Bursting is the best. Especially when it's a bubble.

There's been some mania as well. In the 1600s, the Netherlands experienced a financial crisis dubbed "Tulip Mania." Now that's what I call a financial crisis. Mania is a fantastic word. It's the root of maniac, "one who participates in or creates mania." So, for a short time, every Dutch person was literally a maniac. A tulip maniac. I kind of hope the US gets involved in some mania. I'd love to be a maniac.

When all is said and done, we should be grateful that today's financial crises at least have exciting names. Try not to get too fussy about the sequester. At least it's not another boring old panic.

Just in case we have another financial crisis in the future in need of a good name, I'm going to leave you with a list of some financial crisis name suggestions I've come up with. Attention major news networks: feel free to use any of these.

  • A financial stampede
  • An economic sand castle
  • A fiscal supersoaker.
  • A drunk Iguana
  • A flabbergastation
  • A financial buzzkill
  • Fiscal diarrhea.
  • A melting igloo
  • An economic Earthquake
  • Deficit senility
  • The Financial Slapperooski of 2054
  • The Fiscal Stegosaurus Beatdown of 2023.
  • The Economic Triple Baconator of 2014.
  • The Witch King of Angmar

I encourage the general public to come up with specific definitions for each of these terms.

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