October 26th, 2008
06:17 PM GMT
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LONDON, England - Grim reading in the Financial Times. Take the headlines this past weekend: "Dire data push anaemic forecasts down;" "Recession concerns trigger turmoil in equities;" "Uphill road back to economic growth;" "Endless calls to the business bereavement line;" "Homeowners forced to sell properties at loss" and "Oil cartel cuts output but price still falls."

Now I don't think the editors of the Financial Times, or any other of hundreds of media outlets are trying to talk the economy down.  I think they are reflecting the reality of what's happening in the real economy and markets.

But there are those who are blaming the media for making a bad situation worse. Take Chuck, here's what he had to say in response to my blog on market volatility:  "I really believe that the media needs to take some responsibility for the financial fiasco that we are going through. Not the bad loans, not the questionable securities; just for beating without let-up, the drumbeat of despair. The hype and hyperbole are incredible.

"Everyone seems to be trying to out-depress the other, as if there's a Pulitzer for a story of 100 words or less with the most gloom and doom. A constant barrage of cut-your-wrist headlines everywhere. Just look at your main Web page. Horrible but do you really need to keep pumping the bellows?" Chuck asks in conclusion.

I don't think the media is pumping the bellows. The bellows are broken, the money markets had frozen, credit remains tight, investors remain nervous, and the data in the economy remains almost uniformly bad.

Even the headline about "OPEC cuts production but oil price still falls" accurately reflected what happened. OPEC did announce production cuts and oil fell $3 that day on worries about a global recession and less demand.

Anyone who's read my blogs or listened to my on-air comments on CNN knows I've been bearish for a very long time, and I remain bearish. It will take considerably longer to unwind the massive damage done to the financial system. The global recession is gathering pace, not ebbing. I don't take joy in being bearish, I just tell it like I see it and so far, I've been proven right.

As for the media at large, a legitimate question is to ask why weren't more warning of an impending crisis. But even if they had, they would have been accused of being doomsayers. Even if warnings had been more frequent, it's unlikely people would have changed behavior. Few complain when markets and the economy are doing well.

Now that tough times are here, it's easy to blame the headlines, but you can't deny the underlying reality.

Tell me what you think.  Do you think the reporting is too negative or does it accurately reflect what's happening in the markets and real economy?

Do you think the media should be blamed for adding to the financial crisis?

Even if more in the media had warned of the impending crisis, do you think investors and the public would have taken it to heart?

Do you think your local media has been reporting responsibly on the current financial crisis?



soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. M.P.Nolan

    No the media are not to blame for the economic collapse. Rather it's the robber barons and so-called "Free Market" where they were allowed to rob the till while the average person was looking elsewhere. And if we look to Washington, what do we see? They either don't know what to do or are too hide bound or scared to act. As for the barons who robbed us all, I see no sign of criminal investigations and in fact they intend to pay themselves bonuses of $71 billion. We're in a recession heading for a DEPRESSION and our government is sounding everyday like that of Herbert Hoover. If, god help us, McCain is elected it will be all down hill from there on.

    October 26, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  2. Pressed for news

    NO!
    There is a lot of talk about taxes. But something is missing. McCain said on Meet the Press today, that he would veto bills he voted for. That does not make sense. That proves he is talking erratic. Why vote for a bills you would veto. That is not country first.

    October 26, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  3. Charles Hatfield

    Yes, I do think there has been responsible reporting overall – a lot more so than in the past. What does bother me is that the subject of regulating hedge fund operations is seldom mentioned, and yet, under the surface their activities have great effect upon the financial markets. It appears that many are out of business, and others close. Wouldn't this be a good time to put some critical and meaningful regulations in place to give some protection to the investing public?

    October 26, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  4. Roy

    No question about it: the media is responsible for this economic downtown.MSNBC has been saying we're in a recission for the past 5 years. Fom now on, the only cable network I will watch is Foxnews. They are the only network that is fair and balance.

    October 26, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  5. MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI

    It is just like the right wing conservatives, blame all their screw ups on the media so they can wash their hands from all blame. On the other hand the media have been a bunch of dopes not investigating diligently and reporting and being caught up in the "AMAZING BOOM". For over ten years, I have , myself, blogged about the ridiculous appreciation of assets, of creating money from thin air, the dangers of very low interests rates that promote spending and reduce the incentive to save. Of inability to save for anything with a very low interest rate on savings thus the need for zero down loans. And have been called crazy for complaining about the building of a house of cards. I am afraid that we are in for a world wide depression, that will change the face of governments the world over.
    But in the end we must look to see who really owns the media? Are they not going to benefit from even a depression once again?

    October 27, 2008 at 3:50 am |
  6. Matt Lozier

    It would be pretty easy to argue this one in either direction. I think it would be difficult to find many, if any, articles over the past few weeks that are factually incorrect. The reality of the markets recently has been very negative and we can't expect the media to simply neglect reporting on financial news that is negative. The defense that news will make people unsure of what to do with their money isn't all that sound. The people that are really made unsure of the markets based on stories they read on CNN or Bloomberg or any of the 1000 other financial websites aren't the same people that will in actuality be moving the markets in their respective directions.

    In the end I do think the media has the same responsibility to accurately report financial news as they do all other subjects. It is important to get the facts right, but not use accurate facts to lead people to a incorrect conclusions.

    October 27, 2008 at 6:07 am |
  7. Prajwal Tuladhar

    I think you guys (local as well as international media) are doing wonderful job by providing real time information via the web, print or television medium. The media can not be blamed from any angle for the current financial crisis because you guys had been publishing the good news when the market was sky rocketing and have been publishing bitter news when the global economy is in crisis. I really appreciate the work of the media during the current crisis.
    The blame game will always continue. You guys should carry out what you are and were doing. Best of luck!

    October 27, 2008 at 7:01 am |
  8. Paul Harris

    Internet is giving the whole world instant coverage of events so we are all now sitting in front row seats and reacting to those events at the same time. Think of the movements of fish swarms and you will understand what's happening. It's not negative reporting which is causing such volatility but the worldwide synchronisation of reaction. In the past the dissemination information was so varied that the ups and downs balanced out, these days we are all up or all down at the same time.

    October 27, 2008 at 9:51 am |
  9. Gene

    Actually, I think the media is doing a great job of reporting events and pointing out things we might take for granted. Media reporting aside, I think the uncertainty of the U.S. Elections is more a factor in the market turmoil than anything else at this point in time. What appears to be indecisive action on the part of Washington might be more of a delay tactic until a new president is elected. Based on the more-or-less global interest in seeing Barrack Obama take the presidency, I would expect to see a global market up surge on November 4th followed by stabilization and a down surge if McCain is elected possibly followed by more instability.

    October 27, 2008 at 9:56 am |
  10. JD

    I think the media has overzealously reported because it has become a self serving entity in its own right. As much as I like to read news, etc., I cannot say they are without some blame for creating a more volatile situation than needs to exist at present.
    I think after the third week of BIG BOLD HEADLINES, we get the message. Thus, a prudent course might be to cut back on the rhetoric and try to help find solutions rather than stoking the fire.
    I agree with Chuck to a large degree.

    October 27, 2008 at 10:39 am |
  11. Steve

    I think the media is generally more negative than positive. It is a fact that stories about scandal, atrocities, gruesome murders, etc get more air and print time than positive stories. Part of that is because people like to read about these kinds of articles. If the media wrote a story about the positive things going on with the economy it would get much less viewers so they stick to what works best, sex, blood, gloom and doom. Speaking of which, does anyone know anything new about Paris Hilton, I am dying for some good gossip or possible a pic with part of her boob showing. If not, maybe a story about abusing children or animals.

    October 27, 2008 at 10:40 am |
  12. gatkin09

    I do not blame the media for creating the mess, but some of the reporting has been less than accurate and seems aimed more at grabbing a reader's attention rather than reporting the facts.

    Let's face it, there are many in the media that would probably struggle with basic maths, but this has not stopped them giving readers their analysis of the worlds economic problems. Most media finance reporters for example have few, if any, formal economic or business qualifications and so perhaps they should refrain from trying to convey to people that they are "market guru's".

    Then again, the so called market guru's and financial experts created the mess in the first place, so perhaps we would be better up with the reporters running the banks. Todd..perhaps you should send you C.V over to Wall Street.? I am sure you cannot do more damage than the crowd currently running the show have done already, and you may even be able to install some common sense into the place.

    Greg Atkinson
    http://www.shareswatch.com.au/blog

    October 27, 2008 at 10:49 am |
  13. Amos

    I think the more bad news the media is able to carry, the more there possibility of making money. However, i think this present crisis is fuelled more by damning evidence of overstated economic growth in most of the western economy. I belief the market is presently at the level it should be and really don't see America election stemming the tide of losses that the market is experiencing.

    October 27, 2008 at 11:15 am |
  14. Jonh Doe

    Todd,

    In a ways you have been proven right, you have been bearish for a long , long time, so it happened, but it had to happen.

    For a long time I've seen your comments, a few years now ?

    So lets play the opposite, and I will be proven right too, in a few years another bull market is coming !!! Genius me !

    The thing is that no one, including you, predicted this, a correction, a bearish period are all healthy for the markets, but this is way out of anything known to all of us.

    This is a panic, and the guy in the street that watch the news for info, the one that believes people in TV are right, the one that can't afford but e trades and do it yourselves, believes that all the over dramatic and well researched overblown words to describe this problem as the Armageddon of the markets are ell in a hysteria and out of control.
    They are part of the markets too and they trade a lot too.

    Yes, the media has a role in it and some part of the blame.

    October 27, 2008 at 11:47 am |
  15. John Nicholas

    Do not blame the media. They are not paid to be wise. That's the job of economists and politicians. Given that the politicians and economists don't know what they are doing, pity the journalist.

    In February I wrote to the FT:

    "Sir, John Authers (The Short View, FT Feb 14 2008) wonders at the decoupling of commodities from emerging market stocks, and suggests that fund movements may be behind it. However, the commodity equity values are supported by commodity prices. At the moment most prices seem already to have absorbed recessionary fears (see the oil price over the past couple of weeks), yet retain their upward pressure. Crude oil, copper, platinum, corn, wheat, soybeans and crude palm oil all remain strong, all contangoed in the near term, with crude oil showing an upward slope from mid-2011 as well. Aluminium is just plain rising. For all these commodities, current demand exceeds supply, globally, and the picture going forward will depend, not just on the problems in financial markets, but the degree to which high food, metal and energy commodity prices will have a combined recessionary (and inflationary) effect on top of the liquidity crisis. In the medium to long term, only demand/supply equilibrium will lead to an easing of commodity prices.
    I believe we should pay more attention to the physical supply side of the three commodity groups, and hope we are not heading for a double whammy."

    Behold the double whammy. The FT did not print the letter.

    October 27, 2008 at 11:55 am |
  16. Prof. Fackson Banda

    I am not convinced that the media are somehow responsible for the crisis in the global economy and money markets. To suggest that would be to hark back to the out-dated "magic bullet" theory of media effects. I do think that the media have some influence on the way people - in this case investors - behave, but such influence is enmeshed with a host of other factors. Such factors include the actions of political and business leaders and the trust in which they are held; the psychology of the investors themselves at any one point as the crisis unfolds; the in-country policy and regulatory circumstances; the nature of the local-global economic and financial interpenetration; etc.

    My belief is that the media should have been more critical of Wall Street and all its allied institutions. With the collapse of Enron, I had hoped that our global media, which are themselves locked into some of the major global corporate entities, would develop a more ciritical-inquisitive approach to their coverage of financial markets.

    So I would urge the likes of Todd Benjamin to continue on such a critical trajectory - this is what the big media should be focusing on right now. This does not mean throwing caution to the winds in terms of reporting the event as accurately as possible. It means asking all the tough questions, never taking anything for granted. Why, for example, is it that investors are still wary even after massive bailout plans all over the world?

    Wouldn't it be useful to talk to some of the ordinary investors and get a sense of their fears and insecurities? More often, big media focus on big players. And the big players, baffled though they obviously must be, seem to sing from the same hymn sheet of neo-liberal economics.

    Best,

    Fackson Banda
    Rhodes University, South Africa

    October 27, 2008 at 12:16 pm |
  17. rick keller

    The media is not to blamefor this mess. Two groups are responsible the banks and Fed Cairman Berneake and former chairman Greenspan. Both were sleeping when the economy was showing warning signals. Bearnacke should be fired on the spot.

    October 27, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  18. Ali

    I dont think many of us have experienced anything like this financial meltdown in our lifetimes. At some point in time people responsible should be identified and punished and the media should make that case strongly. There is evidence plastered all over of fraudlent behavior by the investment banks, rating agencies and the mortgage originators.
    Media should now hype the positives, the bad news is already out there, We are in a recession and maybe headed towards a depression. Companies still profitable in the prevailing environment should be commended for their performance and what should be highlighted that they will continue to be less profitable but profitable.
    In this highly unusual environment that is top performance and compareable to one in the nirmal times. We cant continue look at such information as has been done in the past. This is different and unlike anything in the past, so a diferent approach is needed.

    October 27, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  19. Bucky

    News (and use that term loosely) reporters are like economists; the best compliment you can give them is to actually believe them.

    October 27, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  20. Jeff

    The media is not doing enough in my opinion. Just last week there was an article in the NYTimes that stated banks are still sending out credit cards to people who are not credit worthy...even to a woman who had just exited from default on her previous credit cards. This is the next looming crisis and my question is why isn't the whole of the media sounding the alarm. The media and Washingon know what is happening and are just standing on the side lines waiting for it to explode. Then the banks will say, "hey we did not see this coming, please bail us out again". The politicians and the media are well aware of the scams going on on Wall Street. Why isn't this front page news???

    October 27, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  21. Adrian

    Of course the media is to blame. It makes a profit out of sensational news and then again, as if the news are not sensational enough, they are blown up to hysteric proportions.

    October 27, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  22. Pedro

    I think ‘Chuck’ is spot on. Even if the media was unbiased they still act as a feedback system reinforcing the fear. But are they unbiased? In London each day the market goes down the local papers shout about "massive losses in the stock market", on those few days it has gone up by the same amount they begrudgingly admit "cautious gains amongst fears of recession". Hardly unbiased. The media may not have caused the current crisis but like it or not they are magnifying it. In the office where I work we tried a voluntary ban (for one day) of visiting news web sites: everyone was noticeably brighter and more optimistic. Too bad they’re like cigarettes: hard to give up even when you know they’re bad for you.

    October 27, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  23. Eschborntt

    The Free Press has been missing in action since 2000 (1st Bush v Gore, The Commodities Modernization Act of 2000, the War and on and on), but to the point of has the Press been culpable by over reporting and shaping the negative narrative. I offer the following:

    Obersevation 1: Richard Quest as a Financial Analyst (Contrarian Signal) as a stock market expert after all this is the hyper screaming guy from Business Travel
    Obeservation 2: CNBC repeating the same old narrative through rose colored looking glasses and when it (the market) falls 500-600 the contagious gloom look from them being wrong is infectious
    Obeservation 3: Hearing on TV or the Radio every hour of a falling market does not reinforce positive feelings.

    October 27, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  24. Hoff

    Absolutely the media has to take some responsibility. I agree very much with the comments made by Chuck in the article above. Yet, a major problem with the economic downturn is a decrease in consumer confidence. Every time I turn on CNN, ABC, MSNBC or pull up an internet news site, all I see is "economic tsunami," "crisis," "disaster." These intense headlines do nothing to soothe consumer confidence. I know it's bad. I'm unemployed, with a masters degree from an Ivy League school, and with the collapse of the credit market, there is no lending in the architecture/construction field. But there are plenty of people that don't have stocks yet see these comments and panic. I'm 29, I have an IRA that is tanking, but I have 30+ years for it to rebound. I'm sure there are many in my same position, who don't see it that way, and are panicking. There are certainly a lot of people that only read the headlines, or don't have the financial experience to really understand what's going on in the markets and how it effects them. And it starts at the bottom. My 10 year old nephew sees this dismal news on the TV and gets depressed about it. I do agree with the other reader who commented on the continuing problem of banks handing out credit cards like candy. As I said, I am unemployed yet my credit limit was raised on all my cards and I get offers daily for new ones! I agree, there is a crisis, but the news media has a responsibility to report the news without inciting a panic for the sake of sensational headlines. Why doesn't the media use it's reach to provide general tips to people on how they can secure their own finances? Not simply save money, but explain what the market means to them, where their money is safe, how to ride it out, how to spend, etc.

    October 27, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  25. Laura

    The researcher in me is wondering what would happen to the various markets if the media outlets were to declare a few days' moratorium on "gloom and doom reporting." Would we see an upturn? Even if we did, I think there are too many confounding variables in the equation to be able to say that the lack of negative spin or what have you played any sort of role.

    I have to say, however, that the tendency for CNN International to have the little box with the Dow board in the lower right hand side of the picture really makes my stress level rise. Is it necessary to be subject to each little up and down of the index? Periodic updates on the headline ticker would suffice...

    October 27, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  26. tonilson

    The situation is grim, the media brings the uncomfortable facts and reflects the mood, and when the news are bad and the mood is bleak, it easily becomes a spiral: bad news feed bad moods which feed more bad news and so on, until another chain of events gradually emerges to break the spiral. The job of the media is to inform as accurately as possible, and the importance of its role in a major crisis is actually enhanced, as well as its responsibility.
    It's a hard job. In the case of the medias, the pressure is not only in matters of money but of time. Information travels much faster today, and reactions are knee-jerk. We also can't forget that markets have always been driven by psychological factors much beyond our vain Economics.

    October 27, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  27. Ryan

    The media is not responsible for the mess we're in but they are in a unique position to have a more positive influence on the long road out. The media is oversensationalizing the negative and talk of armageddon without puting forth an effort to look to the future with some optimism with insight into strategies that are out there that could bring the world economic community together. I believe the last line of defense in this meltdown will be the collective psyche of individuals all around the world and if all we hear everyday in the media are words like "crisis", "turmoil", "battered", "recession" and "depression" then it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

    October 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  28. Laura

    Is anyone concerned about the giant conflict of interest built into the Fed buying stock in American banks and the potential to make rediculous amounts of profit in working the stock market with this inside information? What is being done to preclude people working for the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve from gaming the stock market as these billions of dollars are being spoon fed to the banks?

    October 27, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  29. SHABU JOHN

    last year I had invested in the indian stock market ,with the hope of making a moderate profit in two to three years time ,in the hope that I had invested in a strong economy ,with a eight percent growth rate ,to date I have not sold even a single share ,but rather kept purchasing shares on the recovery of every fall ,only to lose fiftypercent of each investment after a short run up .now I am wondering ,on what principles have the governments of each and every country built their stock markets ,it would have been much better if I had gambled this money in a casino ,the stock markets now are much worse than the casinos .to date no govt.has testified that their country or that the global economy is in a recession its only the analysts who are predicting all this and if this predictions have brought down almost all the stock markets fifty percent from their recent highs just imagine the plight of the markets if the govts. endorsed it.its very shameful and painful to learn that the face of a countrys economy is like a palace built on playing cards .one card pulled out and the whole thing crumples down .I hope that in future govts.would bring in regulations both for the investors as well as the corporates so that the stock markets are built on solid foundations

    October 27, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  30. d. griffith

    Mass communication is a wonderful tool. We were blind but now we see.

    October 27, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  31. Pedro Remedios, Portugal

    I do think media is partly to blame because there are people who look at the media headlines as being the reality of the current situation of the financial crisis even if sometimes the pundits don't agree with the media headlines. Investors should mostly base their descisions on what the respective companies are doing and not the media headlines. I'm not an investor, but if I was, I would'nt react so much to the media headlines.

    October 27, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  32. DD

    Todd, to a great extent the reporting is doing a lot of harm to the markets especially in the third world economies were no one cares even during the good times. A close observation has proved that each passing day of such report, the markets nose dive the next day. I expect a lot more 'bailouts' b'cos most of the media houses will also collapse.

    October 27, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  33. Elvis

    Media have some how stray from the real issue of the financial crisis. I dont read any headlines pointing the fallout of the current crisis due to financial instrument gone bad(CDO, CDS etc). Instead we are bombarded with the alternative, "RECESSION FEARS WORSE SINCE GREAT DEPRESSTION". Media has diverted too far from the real cause.

    October 27, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  34. michael haddon-cave

    Professionals and academics have always had a range of interpretations and assessments on whatever subject. When depositors would lose their savings in banks that have fallen in advanced countries of Europe then there is certainly very high concerns for everyone across the world about the situation and the underlying causes and consequences ahead. The period of postwar dominance by the United States has left the world with large scale poverty,disease,wars, disparity,erosion of values and declining respect for the diverse cultures annd traditions that exist in our fascinating world. I wonder if the expected new order that will have to come out of this mess would not be better lead by the Japonese perhaps, a culture and people with more grace, low levels of violence and notably with a total ban on guns,weapons etc . within their land.

    October 27, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  35. jose fernandes

    Well,well
    When are we going to hit the bottom?????????????????
    The question is: Which bottom!!!!!
    Financial???(How important!!!!!!!!!!)
    Economical????? (Well,may be needs a bit of help!!!!)
    Unfortunately avarice and every other similar adjective takes precedent long before the greedy leaders take measures that will really be meanigfull !
    And eventually when they do it will be addressed the cost will be indeed
    real " TSUNAMI "
    Bye ..

    October 27, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  36. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    I don't know why my last posting was moderated...perhaps it was overlong... that happens. Anyhow:

    No, the media are in no way to blame. Just because they are telling people news which those people would find out otherwise, if they followed the financial markets, does not constitute any sort of 'causal' relationship to the problem.

    There is a delicate relationship, between cause and effect in the media... but I just don't think any amount of down talk could bring the Stock Markets down. They're not quite as susceptible to 'sensation', and 'The Financial Times', and 'The Wall Street Journal' are not known for banner headlines and inflammatory language.

    October 27, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  37. Juergen Fassbender

    Dear Todd,

    the problem with the press and tv is that they must produce news 24 h a day – no matter if there is news or not.

    And what is better for the news industry than a crisis – no matter what kind of crisis. This financial crisis will be over as soon as there is something bigger, e.g. a new president, an explosion in a power plant etc.

    And therefore it has become difficult for an investor to separate the noise from usefull information. Sooner or later we will read news only from our trusted and respected blogs and consider CNBC and Bloomberg as an entertainment channel.

    October 28, 2008 at 7:16 am |
  38. tim

    TO THE MEDIA.
    Just stop hosting "economic experts" who don't seem to know what they are talking about. Just host Richard Quest, I think he knows better.
    Those so called "experts" if they really knew what they were talking about wouldn't the economy be in a better situation? Wasn't Lehman Brothers a AA bank with a big bunch of experts?
    Yes guys, the media had a big role to play. It's like they want the world economy to go bad.
    Hope and encouragement is what the market needs right now.

    October 28, 2008 at 12:43 pm |
  39. Peter

    What has happened in the markets over the last 12 months is not the fault of the media directly. However, psychology plays a much larger impact than most people think, and that here, the media has been at fault for triggering a negative impact on the psychology of investors and people in general. Does anyone realize that a completely false rumour that a solid bank has troubles, can lead to its demise within a few days? That is psychology and that is what has been happening over the past few weeks in particular. I have felt this crisis tremendously on my own pocket book, yet have remained calm. Once people get over this mass hysteria, fuelled by people wanting to sell papers, show better numbers to advertisers (bad news sells) we will again get back to the fundamentals – although a lot of damage will have been made and a lot of people worse of than they should be.
    However – the media is just doing its job – unfortunately with a negative impact to an already bad situation. Soon we will hear of huge layoffs, foodbanks running out of food, etc....or maybe not – maybe ts time to look at the positives.

    October 28, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  40. Rane

    Back in 1929 there wasn't any media this fast and things got even more out of hand. The people didn't know what was going on and instead relied on rumors and scare mongering especially after the ticker system was overwhelmed in October 1929, triggering a real panic selling not seen since

    Media is indeed providing a valuable service, not only by keeping people aware about events, but also about laws and regulations, like governmental insurance on publics bank accounts. Awarness of such things have saved lot of ordinary banks from needless rushes and panic caused failures.

    October 28, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  41. KAY

    Nope, I dont think its the medias fault. They need to report the news with fair and unbiased objectiveness. The economy is news. Telling the truth didnt create the truth.

    October 28, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  42. Stephen

    In a word yes.

    Why?

    Because you use information from the same people who created this financial disaster to begin with.Anyone on the ball would have seen the signs of this disaster looming back in 2006.Professor Roubini being the one who was most accurate,while the pundits from Merrill,Lehmans,Bear Sterns were saying nothing was wrong and Professor Roubini was incorrect.Oops.

    Its time the MSM stop being the lackies for big corps and financial institutions and start being reporters who dig for the truth.Sadly the truth to this mess was out their and you failed to even see it.

    October 29, 2008 at 5:25 am |
  43. Oh My Moogle

    It's good that the media is reporting what is actually happening out there. It's good to know these things.

    However to make it balanced, i think what we need is more focus on solutions to this economic crisis whatever they might be.

    But then again the media aren't responsible for making good news happen, this is for the people to act responsibly and for the governments to smooth things out. Hopefully then the media can pick up on the positives which in return will give people more assurances.

    October 29, 2008 at 6:39 am |
  44. luiz Silverio

    In my understanding "Media" is performing its function properly . However, bear in your mind that it does not mean that the strategies they have been applying to conduct the work be the right one.
    Sincerely

    October 29, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  45. rick keller

    The media is not to blame for this mess. They are doing a great job. They are telling it the way it is. Its up to us whether we believe it or not. If we look around there are home forcloseures, financial groups looking for help from the government. Wall street taking a nose dive.
    If those fat cats smoking cigars, loose their shirts , who cares, serves them right. It will not hurt Wall Street to make a major correction on the stock market. Besides now most stocks are at a real price we can afford. And the same goes for housing. However the Fed should drop the lending rate a full percentage point , not half a point. Thats what will stimulate the market. Why has Bearnacke not been fired??????

    October 30, 2008 at 12:37 pm |
  46. Frank

    The other week watching Business Report when the markets were in freefall and government bailout packages were being announced every 5 minutes, Adrian told Richard Quest that he seemed to be enjoying all the doom and gloom and revelling in the ever greater falls of the markets. He responded that obviously not but that as a financial journalist this was an exciting time.

    I think we can apply that to the media who always want to outdo each other with adrenalin driven predictions of the biggest and longest recession. All investors follow the financial media closely and it is only logical that this frenzy of despair generated by the media rubs off on them.

    What has become clear with the recent events is that the so called financial experts in the media haven't got a clue!

    October 31, 2008 at 7:52 am |
  47. Ray Goldmuntz

    Yes Todd, you've been on the right track for quite some time now.
    Too bad Ben Bernake & his sidekick Henry Paulson were caught sleeping at the gate whilst the current financial storm was brewing, and could have with a little foresight and common sense properly averted the "meltdown"by their taking prompt affirmative action months ago.
    Did they really have to let Lehman Bros. go belly-up while coming to the rescue of AIG, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac?
    Where were the regulators at the SEC who permitted the reckless' abusive trading practices of major Wall Street investment firms to turn our stock markets into a casino society where all was permitted even if the highly leveraged and specultive risks they indulged in turned out to be at the expense of their respective shareholders and now the American taxpayers?
    It has now been proven that their "laiisez-faire" policy of beign neglect
    and refusal to properly regulate the securities industry has been a principle cause for the current mayhem in the financail markets and will have initiate what now appears to become a severe & in all likelyhood prolonged global economic recession.

    With the probability of a new President being elected, the party will soon be ovezr for the "fat cats" on Wall Street as new demands for transparency & responsibility in the way Wall Street operates will be enacted, and hopefully enforced.
    Unforteunately we are closing the barn doors aftert the horse is gone,
    and will in all likely have to endure the consequences for some as yet undetermined time to come.
    So let's keep our proverbial fingers crossed and hope we still can avoid a further deterioration of the present crisis.

    Enjoy reading your comments & analysis. Have the courage of you convictions and keep the faith. Ray Goldmuntz – (Belgium)

    October 31, 2008 at 12:34 pm |
  48. Standman

    'Is The Media Partly To Blame?' Absolutely! Let's take the real estate market as an example. Have housing prices dropped like a rock? You bet. But did anyone in the media bother to mention that prior to the bust, the real estate market soared to unchartered heights like a helium baloon. No, they did not! If we were to put things in proper prospective, in many parts of the country, housing prices jumped 200-300%. But somehow, the media forgot this tidbit. Instead, they fan the flames of doom when the market drops by 25% to 50%. Did people lose money? Yep. They lost their OVER-INFLATED equity. Those who climbed on board the 'No Money Down', 'No Closing Costs', 'No Qualifying' scheme are the first ones hit by hard times. Like typical Ponzi schemes, the last ones in are the first ones to lose their investment. So be it. They deserve it! Many of these losers had no business purchasing their home. But then again, thanks to Bill and Barney, good 'ol Fannie Mae said, "EVERYBODY SHOULD OWN A HOME." Reality says 'not everyone is qualified to own a home.'

    October 31, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  49. Clancy49

    The economy will only recover when the Global Governments protect their people from blood sucking vampire Financiers like J.P. Morgan. The bailouts were supposed to lend money to failing banks. Instead the money was used by financiers to own even more of the world wealth. These financiers even with the lowered security requirements and lowered prime interest rate have tripled interest payments on the debt holders. They are getting three times more money, the debtor cuts more consumerism and the countries and banks collapse.
    The global economy has nothing to do with taxes or oil prices. The global economy is based on consumerism. When debtors are paying astronomical interest rates for profit to the financial conglomerates, who have never been punished or had their greed limited, the debtors cannot purchase products. Unless governments leash the blood sucking vampires with solid punishing legislation and a cap set at 6% daily periodic rates, (still a good profit for credit holders, but not obscene profit) the economy will have no power to purchase product. All consumer countries will go the way of third world life styles. We should start studying how the Aborigines of New Zealand survive.

    October 31, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  50. David Ogden

    The media normally reports bad news because that is what people are intererest to learn about, however there is no way they can be held responsible for the global financia crisis.

    Hopefully as good news begins to filter through reports will help to talk stocks up.

    David Ogden
    http://tomorrowshomebusiness.com

    October 31, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  51. austin

    The media always fans the flames to sensationalize this downturn and in turn puts fear in its readers..find another way to sell...

    November 2, 2008 at 11:17 am |
  52. Peter Harrison

    I have no problem with stories about things that have occured, but it seems that those expressing opinions in the media are always a positive feedback. When things are good they talk it up and act like it will always be this way, and when things are coming down they act like there will be no end to the downturn, and we will all end up in the third world. The reality I believe is that what we are seeing is a natural consequence of a credit system. We spent money we would have in the future, and now the future is here and we have to settle up. And it hurts. We will pay the debt and get on with our lives. The message here I think is not to let the stock markets run away again; becoming detached from the real values of companies. Much less value should be put in intangibles such as intellectual property that can evaporate overnight.

    November 2, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  53. Don

    Look of course the media are not "responsible" but the fact of the matter is the media is being sensational. The language being used to describe the situation is extreme, yes to catch our attention but the net effect is it promotes more fear....which in turn makes things worse as people continue to be fearful. I believe that with a slight change in language used things may seem a little better which would without a doubt make them so.

    November 3, 2008 at 5:02 am |
  54. Tim Clarke

    How often were journalists blamed for being too optiimistic when things were going well – I think never!

    November 4, 2008 at 10:36 am |
  55. Eric

    There are two separate issues that caused the crisis.

    Washington had little to do with greed that drove oil up although had the house or senate been doing their jobs to head it off there would not be a crisis nor would Obama won because of it.

    The financial markets were all vulnerable due to the failure of lenders to actually use common practices of verifying qualifications to repay borrowed money. One merely needs to look at who began the competition to reap profits from unqualified buyers and it obviously goes to the place they would go when traditional lenders turn them down, Fannie and Freddie. Again, the house and senate should have been responsible to act early and again this crisis appears to have been manufactured since there were motions made to reconfigure the two government load guarantors but were blocked for partisan gain.

    So, while the world reels in joy for the election of Barack Obama they can all rest assured they were played by those who would risk everything to get a democrat in the presidency to augment the do nothing senate and the Pelosi run house of cards.

    .

    November 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  56. george

    My perception on the current economic crisis is not a depression as reported by the media or the financial experts. The whole problems is caused by a few so-called top global fund and financial institutions. These huge companies has exhausted their means to achieve high profits to give good yield to their investors and due to their high employees, funds managers salaries over the years, they have no choice but to paint a gloomy picture of the economy thereby giving them a chance to get out of their problems. I have said before that these fund managers does'nt sweat to earn a living and yes, they are living lavishly at the expense of their investors money. It is high time that oil should be traded at any currency, to bring the situation back to normal. Probably, those oil producing countries can consider writing of the debts owed by USA, and give them a chance to reform under the Obama administration. Understandably, some countries rely a lot of protection from the US and as such the US dollar is sort of a trade off. But if the world is a peaceful place without instigation from USA itself and no more trading of oil in US dollar, the world economic scenario will be better and I think the question of who is the big brother of this planet will vanish and terrorist and extremist will also vanish. Let's work hard for a better tomorrow and distribute love and care to thy friends and countries in need. God will bless us for our good deeds.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  57. Eric Johnson City,TN

    God yea the media is partly to blame! Actually I would say the media is mostly to blame. People that would have normally just continued with there daily lives and kept on spending, halted spending due to being scared to death by the freakin media. The media is alot responsible for destroying our economy. I hope you all are very happy with yourselves for killing us off for the whole world to see! I've said this all along about the media. The economy was still doing well til the media started saying things about how bad the economy was, then it actually did start to go bad. It wasn't that bad til the media started scaring people over the economy. That's a fact. The media needs to focus on positive things and quit dwelling on negatives. There's plenty out there to report on.

    November 7, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  58. KanKan

    The media is a virtual cluster of stories and opinions delivered in various forms throughout the world. To blame the media is like blaming video games and films for increasing violent crimes in conflict strictened countries. Is it sound to partly blame consumers for using credit cards and not paying them back ontime for credit crisis? Or partly blame mortgage agents for issuing mortgages to potential home owners–which is their job. How did any of these entities know that it was possible to bundle up the bad mortgages and sell them off all over the world? What we can partly blame the media for in general is for being bias and opinionated towards different subjects and topics–that is their job. Individuals have the responsibility to search for facts and to confirm what the truth is and to be able to recognize opinions from truths. If this sounds too elitist for some ppl, when was it ever "OK" to be ignorant?

    November 8, 2008 at 12:01 am |
  59. Bjørn Pedersen

    Media outlets can't take the *blame* for the crisis. They *do* however influence decision making, both high and low. If they didn't, I doubt any journalist would want to work in journalism, regardless of their journalistic specialty. After all, I suppose a journalist writes because he/she wants his material to be seen, to be an influence.

    While they didn't start the fire, they do fan it and spread the embers, wether they believe they do or not. A large part of this comes down to the passive reporting. They report the problems, and the problems only, untill the problems seem a staggering mountain.

    But they don't "report" potential solutions, because that is not considered their field. And therein lie not their "blame" but how they influence the viewers and readers.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  60. Anthony

    Hi there,

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Chuck on this one that the media does exacerbate the current financial situation with the negative headlines that we're bombarded with from every corner. The media says that they have a responsibility to the public to let them know what the situation is and the public have a right to know what's going on with the economy. I personally don't think they're helping at all with the way the news is being reported. What these "storires" do is continously drive the public into a panic and further drive us deeper into a reccession. The media sometimes forget the power they have over the public in swaying the way they perceive things. A lot of what is happening now with the markets is that people are panicking, there is no trust out there anymore and that's why we're continously going downhill. Can't the media use their powers to try and motivate the public to have more confidence in the situation? I mean what's the good in telling me that this is the worst reccession in 50 years or house prices have drop the highest since 1990? I don't understand how that can help me, really I don't. The sad thing is that bad news sells and that's why I believe there is too much emphasis on negative news. Do you know that if the media can somehow put a positive spin on the news out there, it might just change public perception and things might just start to pick and maybe, just maybe we can start to pick ourselves from this pit we seem to have dug ourselves into in the first place.

    November 11, 2008 at 9:19 am |
  61. Richard Lavender

    Would someone please explain to me the difference
    between Ken Lay and Arthur Andersen inflating the
    value of Enron stock and then cashing in his stock
    at the inflated valve and Wall Street executives mortgaging
    there assets to 150 to 200 percent of there value while
    paying themselves 100 of million dollars. The only
    thing I know of is the Wall Street executives were
    smart enough to include in there compensation
    package that if prosecuted the corporation would
    be responsible for their legal fees and now that
    obligation has been past on to the America taxpayer.

    November 13, 2008 at 4:08 pm |

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