The New York Times ran this story over the weekend, suggesting that maybe we don’t have to be as nervous as the media (and the government) might make you think. They quote some dude with a great long term track record as saying that though he expects world economies to contract over the next year, “the market plunge in the last week was no longer being driven by rational analysis. Stocks are probably falling because of a combination of panic and forced selling by hedge funds that must meet margin calls from their lenders.”
I thought that this tiny voice of optimism in the Times was interesting after last week. The Daily Beast–my favorite new web toy of the week–focused on the role of the media in the economic collapse in one of last week’s Big Fat Stories. Even before the Beast drew my attention to it, I had been thinking about the media as a hype-and-panic-echo-chamber.
Everywhere I went last week I saw nothing but unfortunate looking line graphs and photos of panicked Wall Streeters and strange references to the Great Depression. In a structure as inherently neurotic as “the financial markets”, it struck me as a bit dangerous. So it’s good to see the Times trying to inject a little optimism into the coverage of the meltdown.
So enjoy your piece of good news and your Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.