Are we finally putting the financial crash of 2008 and its aftermath behind us?
If my experiences of the last 24 hours are any guide, we sure are.
Last night I attended a Village of Iola board meeting to review the 2013 budget. Equalized value of property in the village had fallen again, but that was less the topic of conversation by trustees than the fact that houses that have been on the market for a while are really starting to sell.
At the dentist this morning there was no chitchat about gold bullion, layoffs or any other economic topic. It was back to the old routine of kids, parents, school fund-raisers and the Iola Old Car Show.
Wow, can I be dreaming?
Then on the radio as I drove to the office came the news that the unemployment rate in the nearby city of Appleton had fallen in the last month by 0.8 percent to reach 5.5 percent, fully 2.3 percent below the national average.
Have my trifocal eyeglasses turned into rose-colored glasses?
But then, perhaps these experiences of mine are just anecdotal confirmation of why the price of gold fell short of setting a new record in its upturn of recent weeks.
Sure, with the situation in Europe being as precarious as it is, conditions can turn on a dime, but it has been refreshing to feel absolutely normal again – at least for a few hours.
If collectors are starting to see the same sorts of things in their neighborhoods across the country, Bob Wilhite’s old money in the jeans test of potential coin demand might just confirm that coins are once again mainly for collecting and not simply a convenient form of catastrophe insurance.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."