Sunshine: The Only Stimulus We Need

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Photo: Getty Images

Look out the window today and you'll confront the same depressing scenery we've been coping with for the past few months. The weather, like the economy, is bleak, and it's easy to combine the two into one overwhelming, dispiriting force. If only we could at least enjoy the weather, then maybe this whole economic catastrophe would be slightly easier to swallow. But it's actually quite amazing how changes in the weather could literally help the economy.

During our brief respite from winter over the weekend — the sunshine, the warmth, the birds chirping to each other about their next attack — people started behaving in a peculiar way: They bought things, even expensive things, like jewelry and art. Things that it seemed nobody would ever buy again, because we can't eat them or live in them. People felt optimistic for once, and, at least for a moment, businesses flourished. This wasn't a fluke; at least one researcher the Times talks to found a direct correlation between sunshine and stock prices: the more sun at the site of the stock exchange on a given day, the higher the returns. So we just need to hold on a little longer, until the sunshine returns for good. Or, we could just destroy the clouds right now. That wouldn't have any unintended consequences, right?

Sunshine Is Harbinger Of Optimism [NYT]