Bailout/Bloodbath Burnout?

Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture has sometimes taken to showing spikes in his website’s traffic around market crises. They are usually dramatic and he has said in the past that they signal short-term market bottoms.

Your humble blogger has also witnessed this phenomenon. We had a huge jump in traffic around the Bear crisis, a spike in July until Paulson got his famed bazooka, and readership shot up again with the Freddie/Fannie conservatorship in early September and has sustained a very high level since then.

However, we have observed a curious phenomenon. Our highest traffic ever was during the period when the TARP was in play, the absolute abomination that the Treasury secretary first served up, and the merely wretched version that was signed into law.

Now I do not have any commentary from Barry on his traffic last week, nor do I see anything on his blog about his traffic in the last two weeks, but I wrote to him shortly after the October 9-10 market meltdown. I said I must be losing my touch, crises like this usually produce peak traffic, but I did not see the usual surge. He said he was seeing the same syndrome, traffic at elevated level relative to recent norms, but no big increase on a panicked day.

Similarly, on Friday I did not see a jump in numbers. Admittedly, I was so fried from having stayed up all night watching Asia and then European markets in their AM melt down that I needed to crash, and so did not provide running commentary during the day. But I suspect the shift in traffic patterns reflects a changing response to the relentless drumbeat of bad news.

I was in New York City during 9/11, and noticed two things. First was that there was an uptown/downtown factor. People who lived below 14th Street (which remained closed to traffic for some time after the attacks and was also in closer proximity to the sights and smells of the smoldering remains) were far more rattled than people who lived further away. Second, however, was that people who stayed glued to their TV, no matter where they lived, were unhinged.

Now this crisis does not have a strong visual component, nor does it raise issues of physical safety (although I never felt at risk during that period). However, unlike 9/11, which was a discrete event, this crisis keeps morphing into different forms (as we will discuss in a later post, we now have a new and troubling element of an emerging markets/currency crisis coming to the fore).

So I wonder if the public is beginning to get burned out, that some who were transfixed by the carnage and the unprecedented (at least post-Depression) response are now pulling back, either because it now seems to be too much of the same to them, or has simply become too much.

While this would be a healthy response on an individual level, I am not so certain it is a plus collectively.


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  1. mb

    most dont understand it

    most believe that in 6 mo to 1 yr their 401ks will bounce back, theyve been told so, stock market always grows over tim, dont worry.

    they beleive the msm lines 1) we arent in recession 2)this is a credit crisis and the fed is fixing it by providing liquidity.

    there is simply massive attempt to keep the people in the dark . it shows how little respect the govmt, media, and wall st have for j6p.

    they have a short attention span and go back to watching dancing with the stars, or some other worthless crap.

    while rome burns

    some threads on CR are seeing 600+
    responses, but mostly the same folks bickering. gotten too long and off topic to be useful. im off work on disability temporarily, so i will read, occasional useful snippets.

  2. Dean

    What’s even more interesting is that all of this is occurring right before a national presidential election!

    And the candidates are acting as if nothing is happening.

    If I was them, I almost wouldn’t want to win because there’s a chance they could be a one-termer.

  3. Anonymous

    I’m on the fence with the “most don’t understand it” issue that mb refers to.

    I think *some* people DO understand it.

    But for the most part, I agree with Yves that people are burnt out. I know I am. Planning for fiscal year 2009, I have to say that I am nervous, especially in light of client’s stocks plummeting and threats of layoffs imminent. But for the most part, I am not changing my business model, which, because we are lean and mean from the get-go, meant that we were gaining business and growing the company for the last few years while watching our competitors contract and some go out of business – if business holds steady or contracts at 10%, then I figure we’re OK.

    However, a drastic paradigm shift in our business will mean that we’ll have to act quickly, should that happen, at at our size I’m fairly confident that we could act swiftly.

    Sure, when an SVP (client) calls and asks for a job should they be laid off, it puts me in a preciarious position. Would it mean I’d start a new company and name it the WPA? Sure, maybe…catchy name dontcha think?

    Burnt out? You Betcha! Moving forward? Always + with a sick – pack of course!

  4. Anonymous

    This is a slow motion train crash, but it’s not a wall or a truck that’s on the tracks.

    It’s cows. They jump out of the way, some get hit, the train loses the barest mote of momentum.

    But the herd just keeps coming.

    Yeah, I’m burned out, waiting for the end of the world.

    The next 12 months we’ll see

    -hyperinflation and wars without end, breadlines and shanty towns.

    The Ivy league trash we handed the steering wheel over to deserve all the blame.

  5. alex forshaw

    when i had a financial blog i noticed the same thing, as well.

    i am told that this is a very popular indicator in the sentiment analysis business and among macro fund managers, and i can understand why. it indicates panic.

    if we haven’t seen that panicked frenzy of activity, i don’t think we’re at the bottom yet.

    i hope i’m wrong. in this environment, fundamental analysis is impossible.

  6. Anonymous

    I think we have an expectation that if really bad economic times are around the corner, they will be preceded by a dramatic event that makes clear we are entering into a new era. Popular history of the Great Depression is that the Roaring Twenties were in full swing, when all of a sudden the stock market crashed one day, and everyone woke up the next morning out of a job. To bring that myth into contemporary times, I suppose people are looking for a one-day deep dive on Wall Street, followed by two weeks of failures and layoffs by big businesses who are household names. Unfolding like a 60 minute TV show, by the end of the two weeks we will know all about what happened, what the impact was, who the bad guys were, why they did it, if the good guy got the girl, etc….

    But of course the Depression wasn’t like that, and this time won’t be either. Moreover, even the more cynical experts like Roubini aren’t sure whether we are heading into a bad two-year recession, or a 10-year period of stagnation, or something else.

    If reality were a sitcom, it would be one of those annoying European indy films that starts off somewhere in the middle of the actual story, and then proceeds through a muddled storyline in fits and starts, before the clock simply runs out on it, with no apparent ending.

  7. mb

    some do understand. I preached to coworkers for a year that a depression was coming, people will no longer retire, the market will crash, all the banks are bankrupt, massive layoffs coming, in 2 yrs you will either not get a raise or could get a pay cut, etc, they just called me mr. sunshine in jest to my doom and gloom.

    A few who listened and educated themselves saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in their 401k and iras.

    Those that didnt are still in denial, they believe the msm, its too late to get out, in a yr or two everything will be back.

    Im telling them now the real value of what they lost is never coming back, not in 10 yrs+.

    They dont want to listen anymore because they truly dont know what to do. Its all foreign to them, and too hard to understand. The fed, printing, deflation, currency markets, bond markets, inflation, gold, etc. All they know is the mantra “buy stocks for the long term and hold them, markets always go up long term.”

    For most, its too difficult to weed thru the false info by pundits and MSM and pick who to listen to, so they put their head in the sand and just ignore it and hope for the best.

    thats their retirement planning now, hope.

  8. Steve

    In December, 1930, 14 months after the crash, Keynes wrote:

    “The world has been slow to realize that we are living this year in the shadow of one of the greatest economic catastrophes of modern history. But now that the man in the street has become aware of what is happening, he, not knowing the why and wherefore, is as full today of what may prove excessive fears as, previously, when the trouble was first coming on, he was lacking in what would have been a reasonable anxiety. He beings to doubt the future. Is he now awakening from a pleasant dream to face the darkness of facts? Or dropping off into a nightmare which will pass away?”

    My sense is that today we are still in the phase of `the trouble first coming on’.

  9. mb


    you know what they said about the great depression:

    “just when we thought it was over , it was really only just beginning”

    in a year i expect j6p to look around and realize how bad things are. this is when the ponzi scheme market falls on its face, no more 401k inflows.

  10. Anonymous

    Exaustion with watching the action is a necessary part of capitulation. When CNBC stops holding specials, because viewership drops, when Cramer gets the ax, because no one is listening, this is a final “bottom”. This is a common psychological response.

  11. mittelwerk

    i don’t think the burnout has do with economics at all — but with the increasing consciousness of just how illegitimate our current political system is, and how oligarchic our social formations are.

    people in general have gotten a lot more economically savvy because of this crisis. and because of that they can now see more clearly than before just how corrupted this society has become, how the cumulative endowment of post-WWII america has been effectively squandered to subsidize the lifestyle of a certain type of east-coast banker.

    it’s not merely burnout: it’s anomie. people know there is only one solution, and that is radical politics. but since they are not up for that, better to just go to sleep.

  12. William Mitchell

    Anecdote: the NakedCap reader who introduced me to this site has stopped reading, because the crisis is affecting his health.

    It’s not your writing, but the events themselves, that are too stressful for him.

  13. Anonymous

    The American response to disaster seems to be intense interest (fuelled by the inflammatory media) followed by debate, followed by apathy, when people conclude there is nothing to be done. I was in downtown Manhattan during 911 and the post-disaster weeks followed this pattern. The stock market situation has gone beyond an individual’s control. Many have lost a lot of money, and now they see that there is no swift recouping of losses; therefore, apathy. Like Iraq: no quick victory meant lack of interest (disgraceful, of course).
    Americans pretend to be long-term investors, but they watch prices every day, and when prices relentlessly go against them, they eventually give up looking. (Is that the new capitulation? Perhaps.)

  14. bg

    most of your comments are addressed to the obsessive compulsive amongst us who who are transfixed to the macroeconomics they way one cannot take their eyes off a car crash in motion.

    It is also true that I, like you imply others, was at my peak of emotion in the early days of tarp. I have been trading the crisis aggressively, and profitably. However I am getting fatigue. I have not missed a post you have made in a month, but the new issues are much less gripping. I don’t know why currency and emerging markets are not gripping, but I suspect that it is easier to find witnesses in Manhattan than everywhere else, and so the narrative is falling off, not the crisis.

    But the fatigue is real. I am taking profits faster, and and more willing to sit on the sideline, despite a belief that this opportunity is growing, not fading.

    Fatigue is a step toward capitulation.

  15. mb

    americans want everything now, they demand it today. thats why they are in debt upto eyeballs.

    They assume that like business cycle led recessions, this will be short , quick, and back to normal. So they look for a bottom within days-weeks of the announcement of trouble. they want it fixed now so they can stop worrying and can start making money again. This is self-fulfilling in establishing short term trading bottoms.

    I promise the eventual real bottom will come like a thief in the night. by the time it comes, no one will be looking for it.we are years away from good economic news.

    there will be many false bottoms along the way.

  16. mittelwerk

    why should people read?

    being prescient didn’t make a difference, did it?

    and i reiterate: the reason TARP is vile is not because the economics are faulty, or lacking, but because the politics are naked.

  17. D Galbraith

    I would love to see a post from Yves about how bad things are likely to get.

    Roubini acknowledges that we have avoided systemic financial meltdown, but now he seems to be more pessimistic than just last week. Is he just milking it?

    One of the things I like most about this blog is that it is passionately opinionated without being melodramatic.

    So how bad is it going to get?

    Guns and canned food, or just canned food?

  18. Kady

    Let’s not forget that there’s a numbness to it all as well. Like watching the tower fall for the one thousandth time does not have the same impact as those first live broadcasts. Market falls 300 points? Now we’re relieved that it wasn’t 700 points.

    You’re right though – collectively, it’s disastrous. This disinterest will just dullen any righteous anger when we realize badly this crisis was handled by Paulson et al.

  19. Will T

    This has been like a spectator sport…watching companies and other entities blowing up and guessing who will be next.

    As the government steps in and rescues EVERYONE it ruins the suspense. It also makes me sick to my stomach that there is a free-for-all for freshly printed money and common blokes like you and me cannot redeem our own assets at the discount window.

  20. Anonymous

    Well in the cycle of bubble psychology, the next stage after panic is capitulation.

    By the way, Yves, don’t you think you are kind of guilty of hyperbole too… calling the drop of the stock markets last week a “Bloodbath”? No blood was lost, and it was mainly the rich who suffered a virtual loss. The spike in commodity prices (especially carbohydrate prices) previously caused significant real world suffering (for example, people in Haiti resorting to eating dirt.)

  21. J Baz

    (1) There’s less capital flowing around the perceived risk markets (which are 40-90% lower depending on the market), so not as many people need to read as avidly. Vastly greater amounts of money are in treasuries (and appreciating), and holders of such don’t need as much play-by-play (yet).

    (2) Layoffs … most laid-off Wall Streeters are looking for jobs, not clicking on links to NakedCap that their coworkers used to send them.

    (3) But just a lull. When big governments start virtually defaulting, readership will spike again. But only temporarily. The next huge spike in readership will be when the U.S. government bond bubble starts to burst.

  22. Anonymous


    I concur absolutely with your observation. I have been following events closely since Sub-Prime Crash last year and am at a loss that I think I may appear obsesses to my (finance industry) friends who have not been following nor are as conversant with issues as they arise, and issues yet to arise (as discussed in advance on this site).

    I have a question to ask – Why are people not marching in the streets against the 700bn TARP? Why are people not marching in the streets over the mooted 70bn to be paid in bonuses to IB’ers who are recipients of the bailout (read, gift), thats something like $300 for every man woman and child in the US?

    Answer this and you may have the answer to the question you pose?

    Are we desensitised? Or has the crunch not hit and its implications remain supressed under the final veil of optimism (the type that led the debt fueled consumerism) which is yet to be lifted (to reveal the Godzilla Bride??)????????

  23. Yves Smith

    Anon of 1:13 AM,

    I wrote that post as of the market opening in New York. The Nikkei was down 20% in two days. Aussie and New Zealand dollars were down 7% in one day. The pound and euro have plunged in two weeks. We have already seen a large fall in shipping due to the commodities bust and difficulty in securing trade financing. Currency instability is a major impediment to trade and will have serous real world consequences.

    The developing emerging markets/currency crisis is a separate chapter in the credit contraction. Remarkably, the US has little direct exposure, but (as we will discuss in a later post) this will hit the EU hard.

    And there will be blood shed. I suggest you read up on the Asian crisis of 1997. There were riots in Thailand and Indonesia. 500 people died in Jakarta alone. Governments fell in Indonesia and the Philippines as a direct result of that crisis.

  24. Deborah

    It is the “I can’t do anything about this” syndrome. People figure that they’ve already lost a bundle and they don’t take the time to assess if they will lose more. They figure it will turn around at some point and just don’t want to look.

    I was talking to a co-worker and she said her investments had lost a good junk and she just wasn’t going to look at them again for a couple year.

    When people are losing money the do get to the point that they don’t want to look, and so they don’t.

  25. Emery

    Yea -they pretty much burned us out. We got jacked by the DC gang for $850 billion. So now we will just sit back and watch the fireworks. They got their money so they can’t blame us for being cheapskates and not willing to take one for the “team.”

    Should be a pretty good show. I’m boning up on my depression era gardening skills. Yum -savory squirrel soup.

    But when I get laid off I guess it won’t be so damn funny anymore……..

  26. michael

    Well I am still reading daily, no burnout here…

    But my anxiety has gone down, things are unfolding as expected, I don’t care if we have 5% drops for 10 days or one big 50% crash.
    5 weeks ago I also started feeling sick in my stomach on weekends reading too many informed economic blogs and wondering: why is nobody around me seeing or talking about it? (WHO is the one detached from reality?)

    And to me it was clear from the start that the TARP would pass sooner or later, not that anybody understood what he voted for, it’s just a CYA thing.

    So now all my double-inverse ETFs sell limit orders got triggered except QID at $100, and I find it too risky to reload – exchange closure or counterparty failure (on the derivative part) become a relevant part of the equation.

    Now people should get out of the dollar. It’s impossible to time that well, there might be 5 more months deleveraging to go, but I don’t want to be the one left holding the bag, as the dollar might start crashing any week now – who knows when the Chinese have enough or Helicopter Ben starts crushing deflation in earnest.

    So I’m with Peter Schiff. Even though he denies (or skips over) the current deflation and non-decoupling, in the medium term he has it dead on.

  27. Yves Smith

    Anon of 1:44 AM,

    I really should not admit to this, since it will completely undo my furry-animal-sympathizer credentials, but squirrel is delicious.

  28. Anonymous

    I don’t read Ritholtz. I’m here because it matters strategically what happens next. If Roubini is right, the dollar is overvalued. Yves aggregates and analyses the crucial info. Whether others are burned out is unimportant. Above all, the result of the US election will determine whether we have a social collapse. Obama defeated is a very scary nightmare, not because he could fix anything if elected, but because millions will freak out if McCain wins.

  29. IF

    I completely agree with Yves remark explaining Friday. It looked very bad around the world and then it fizzled in the US market.

    I had some hope a while ago that Europe would escape the housing and US debt crisis. I am from Germany, which I think will get out ok. But I have Eastern European ties and I am afraid these countries will get smoked. And unfortunately a chain reaction via Sweden, Greece and Austria into the EU/Switzerland seems to be in the making.

    Back on topic, about half a year ago I came to the conclusion that history was being written and that there was a good chance that the US would go down, as it is obviously bankrupt on many levels. Sadly, as the world realizes this, everybody else gets hit first in the panic.

    In any case, I am really looking forward to read books describing all these events in detail in a few years. I hope you (and other bloggers) keep notes. (And then there is always Krugman.)

  30. freude bud

    Jacked by the DC crowd? You nuts?

    You got jacked by the TX crowd, buddy … and you better hope to all you hold holy that the DC crowd figures out how to get us out of this red state mess!

  31. Joe

    One benefit the population has as a country racks up years of experience is the ability to look back and learn from the mistakes of the past. The government made mistakes in the ’30’s, but brilliant economists learned from those mistakes and noted the outcomes. The Fed chief and Treasury Secretary have paid close attention to what mistakes were made in the past. They have referred to having ‘tools’ which refers to economic theory gleaned from past crisis. I came across some good information on this at a blog about the bailout.

  32. J Baz

    Yves 1:32

    No big protest rallies yet because righteous indignation at bad policy isn’t enough to launch a thousand ships. That’ll happen when…

    (1) …the pain gets acute. Foreclosed folks are staying with (employed) relatives, the newly jobless are getting benefits and living off savings, and most people still think 401k losses “don’t REALLY happen until you sell.” Scrimp and work longer, and everything will be ok. People still have reserves and hope, for now.

    (2) …the pain becomes more widespread and reaches “tipping point.” It’ll take a few more months or quarters to start-up the protest industry. The unemployed need more time to form armies, and march to battle.

    (3) …a spark is supplied. The perpetrators haven’t been caught on film, and then acquitted. No one has fired a rubber bullet into a hungry crowd.

    There actually were two small rallies (300-500 people) on Broad St outside the NYSE, right when TARP was announced. Union-organized, at lunchtime. Lots of bemused hardhats, little more. Rev. Jesse was at the first rally, and grinned when ACORN’s head screamed, “Bailout? Get the Hell Out!” My point: when there are more fannies on the stoops, they’ll start marchin’ in groups!

  33. Rolf

    I started reading this website when I 1st ran across it about 8 months ago. Because of the effort of checking this website (and others) and because of the delay of reading the summary emails, I’ve switched to an aggregator. Lately, I’ve been reading the headline there, the first paragraphs, and then, if the story sounds good, going to the actual website. Yves, how do you tally # of readers who read via an aggregator? How do you know if they read only the headline, or the whole article (or none at all)?

  34. Constantine

    I do think I’ve become a little unhinged by it all. But I had investment decisions to make and just couldn’t find dry land. Went short back in Aug’ 07 and covered way too early a month back. What has consumed me is trying to decide whether to go long. If I don’t, am I missing the opportunity of lifetime?

    Finally decided I’m out of the market until early next year at the earliest. Finally have begun to relax.

  35. ndk

    I really should not admit to this, since it will completely undo my furry-animal-sympathizer credentials, but squirrel is delicious.

    Well, that’s one time-tested way to get your readership levels up!

    I’ve been following economics out of pure curiosity since ’03. My family and friends, who are also not in the financial industry and generally have no savings anyway, were very interested at the time of the TARP, but have moved on to other things. I’ll agree with the other posters: it’s moved beyond the point where they feel they have much control over anything, and there remains an abiding belief that someone somewhere will mop this up eventually.

    It’ll take severe personal impact before they’re interested again. When they do return, it will be with pitchforks in hand.

    Keep us updated on this interesting barometer.

  36. Yves Smith


    Big Brother watches you no matter what you do on the Web. I get totals of unique visitors (by IP address, so i you read at home and at work you will be double counted) if you come to the site and read the blog. However, if you click on more than one page from the same IP address, it will count the additional pageviews but not double count you as a visitor.

    If you read via RSS, you are counted in a separate tally, “Subscribers” if you have clicked on a headline to read an piece in the RSS reader in the last 24 hours (ie you have to be active to be counted). That figure is more stable than visitors.

    If you read via an aggregator that is not a your own RSS reader (say someplace like, you are counted in a category called “Reach” again when you click.

  37. ndk

    Also, the loss of interest was from my domestic friends. My international friends have suddenly become much more interested. A friend-of-a-friend from Chengdu who is coming to study at a bible school in rural Wisconsin asked whether she should reconsider in light of a severe recession in the U.S. The Chinese media has been loudly dour about American economic prospects, which scared her. Canadian and European friends are worried about their own countries.

    Do you have a national break-down on traffic or significant international readership, Yves? Is there a geographic distribution of apathy?

  38. Yves Smith


    About 30% of my readers are overseas. I need to turn in, but I think I can still see the breakdown for October 9-10 versus last Friday. Not sure how far back I can go, but will poke around.

  39. ndk

    Much greater distribution than I would’ve guessed. Very few of them will be from China: your site is blocked by the Great Firewall because of the “naked” in your capitalism. They’re cool with squirrel eating, but rabbits are much more plentiful. Horse tail is bad. Sleep well, and thanks for all you do.

  40. Viv

    I don’t feel the fatigue yet, but maybe that’s because of my compulsive nature of reading and then reading some more. People have psychological immune systems, so when the first inklings of crisis emerge they panic and react but gradually the mind’s immune system takes over. Resulting in us being able to handle all the future shocks, we become overtime immune to events such as this, in some ways people may have gotten used to the idea of there’s a big crisis.

    Whereas before seeing the DOW go down 200 was a big deal, nowadays only a 500 point down day is big enough to cause much reaction.

  41. Max

    The crisis is here with us to stay, so the acute interest went down. 7% down days are not a big deal anymore.

    Not sure I am too upset about the TARP, even though it presents many additional perils for the government, including insolvency and devaluation. The Washington had to do what it had to do, all the concerns about the moral hazard non-withstanding – one can’t teach a market the virtues of creative destruction if there is no one left to live to carry the knowledge. The most offensive features of TARP, such as the lack of a very strict oversight could be revised at any time, if the Democrats gain the full control of the two branches.

    Despite my respect to those who subscribe to the Austrian school, I cannot share the view that the answer is in total passiveness. When certain people say let the chips fall as they may, they forget that the chips can really fall as they may.

  42. doc holiday

    I think we are all conditioned to respond to media events in somewhat of a narrow time frame, where we experience macro-like tsunami tragedy or something like 9/11 or Katrina, and thus there is a human element that has impact in terms of humanity and suffering. In the case of stock valuations or greed associated with economic injustice, this event has been abstract and less real in terms of what it means to people. Most people, simply don’t understand the complicity of the Trillion Dollar Derivative markets and all the hedged swaps between casino players.

    That informational disconnect has been compounded to a supercharged point of total chaos by The Treasury, Fed and Wall Street, who collectively are re-inventing tax law, accounting rules, Constitutional government, democracy and capitalism — and doing so, on-the-fly (making it up as they go). Is it any wonder that the vast majority of people around The Globe are in shock and dumbfounded by the decoupling of valuation reality?

    The last year has been a daily, almost hourly barrage of financial bombardment that has never let up — and as a result, people are experiencing shell shock and fatigue. The event timeline we are in is mind numbing and we are experiencing incomprehensible and almost delusional activities which have become surreal and almost hallucinatory. Things are not as they should be, or at least, not the way they used to be.

    I blame the majority of this problem on collusion within the Bush government and their efforts to manipulate and distort information directly related to the engineering of The Ownership Society.

    The chaos they created has spun out of control with all the falsified models, reportable data, legal loopholes, lack of regulation, lack of accounting and mindless insistence on allowing a network of nepotistic retards to run wild for eight years.

    The foundation of The Ownership Society and that framework of criminal conspiracy which is collapsing upon itself, is connected to a hyperactive last ditch panic effort of unimaginable and incompetent fiduciary mangers that have a full tilt fascist extremist agenda to push a steady stream of chaotic schizophrenic disorganization to a point of no return! Is it any wonder people are in shock?

    The terrifying reality here, is that very few people are challenging what is going on now, challenging what has happened or to challenge America as to where we are headed — because there is no plan, no model, no leadership, no protests, nothing in the way of alternative thought processes from anyone, anywhere! It’s like wall street had a one way plan, one model and now, after failing (like idiots) things are crashing. There is a sense of emptiness, like we all are falling and failing together, and that’s just how it should be, i.e, there is no second option or other path! This is the end….

    That scares the shit out of me, to think that there is no hope, or that Roubini is 100% right. We have a Dr. Doom, but no backup economist that has comforting theories that might offer the flip side analysis; Krugman seems less threatening, but there is no philosophical sweet talk that will take away the damage which has been done by this blundering group of idiots that have been in power and who have abused there positions to a point where they destroyed the fabric of America! The Republican ideology of The Bush Ownership conspirators realistically destroyed capitalism as we knew it, and that has left people in shock — and it will leave a mark on history which will mirror the decay of The Great Depression!

  43. Richard Kline

    ‘Battered wealth syndrome.’

    For those who weren’t wealthy to begin with, “Above my pay grade.”

    I don’t think that we are in or near capitulation apathy; more cognitive dissonance. Americans have been conditioned for two generations to think in sound bites, and expect Perky Answers [TM] to complex problems. If they don’t get perky answers, they change the channel. There is the further complication that unless one is actually umemployed/being surplused, or in foreclosure, these things all are ‘at a distance,’ and so hard to hold in ones attention for an extended period.

    Personally, I am not tired at all, rather intellectually fascinated. I’ve studied bubbles in the past, and busts. The real question for me through fifteen years was, Why haven’t we gotten the hard recession that is cyclically indicated by the kind of modeling I do? It is, or rather was an intellectual conundrum. Eight, nine years ago, it was clear to me that the reason was that the colossal bloom in dollar debt kept pushing the bust down the timeline while bloating its probable amplitude. But I had no forum to publish what I saw, nor any credentials, so there was little to do. Watching this unfold is of direct intellectual interest wioth regard to issues I’ve researched for twenty years, but I know that surely isn’t true for most, here.

    Many good observations in comments . . . .

    I’ll say briefly that the dollar and Treasuries are a truely ghastly spike-bubble. Follow the sequence of similar spikes back, and what followed; begin anywhere you like. Say with: The spike in securitization and LBO issuance. *crr-aackkk* “Well, _I’m_ positioned for equities to new highs.” *whuummmphh* “The hot ticket is commodities—” *whhhoooooossh!* “I’m closing out, back into cash instruments.” [Your mp3 here] These are ripples driven by the push of deleveraging, running around the bath tub as whe swirl gains _real_ traction on our shadow ocean of faux liquidity-floated debt.

  44. Uncle Billy Is Shocked

    We’re all at different stages of shock and empathy with the economy. Myself? I’m spent. Been following every nuance of this whole farcical tragicomedy and its been fine up til now.

    But as we begin our final leg down, serious fear has taken hold, and a certain paralysis. If a dozen people can get squeezed and trampled to death at a Who concert, I worry about the protection I’ll be able to provide for my family when a good part of 300 million angry americans, and another 6 billion or so become much less predictable.

  45. Milán

    Everyone become more and more pessimistic.
    This is the mayor driver of this economic Chernobyl.

    Right now everyone realised that the leaders don’t know the problem and don’t have any clue about that what they have to do.

    The realy deep issues are ahoead of us.

    We can thanks it to the guys in the central banks around the world.

    From a moderate recesion they made a deep depresion due to the fixation that they have to the banking industry.

    Like the reactor operators in the Lenin nuclear power plant in Chernobyl.From a small error it is so easy to make an armagedon.

  46. Anonymous

    What motivates the masses to action?

    Real hunger seems to be at the top of the list. To assume one is really hungry is to assume that they one is unemployed. The unemployed have the time to protest.

    Pols everywhere learned a lesson from the French Revolution. It was a lesson pols knew from history, but had neglected. The French masses, who were suffering hunger, rose up and decapitated many. The result was that the masses were still hungry but no longer had to suffer court decadance.

    Listen up pols…Do Not Let The People Get Hungry.

  47. g.

    I write fiction/screenplays for a living. An action hook at the beginning of a book or movie, or a “teaser” in a TV show just before the title sequence, hooks an audience member and gets them to lean forward towards the screen, or flip the page of the book. More plot twists-and-turns involves the viewer even more, sealing the deal, as it were.

    But there is definitely a point where one more cool action sequence, one more twist of the plot, one more splashy reveal no longer enhances people’s enjoyment of the piece. On the contrary, one more twist-and-turn makes people lean away from the screen, set down the book. I’m sure this phenomenon has been studied in psychology: People begin to detach from a novel or movie or TV show because too much is happening. Notice how the first season of “Twin Peaks” was a huge hit, but the second season started out a bust—plot overload. I wouldn’t be surprised if its some sort of built-in attention circuit-breaker that makes people turn away from an involving drama.

    On a personal level, my family has become bored to tears over the financial crisis. Anyone who brings up the subject at the dinner table gets yelled down, even though we were all fascinated by the subject a couple of weeks ago.

    I think this increasing detachment insofar as the crisis goes is a sign that the world-wide attention span has become exhausted. Everyone seems to have decided collectively, “It’s bad—it’s going to get worse—I’ll probably lose my job—I’ll probably be broke—pass the ketchup and let’s talk about the World Series.”

    Just a thought.

    Gonzalo Lira

  48. Jim Belfiore

    From what I see in my travels across the country and working with clients, the masses are still incredibly ignorant to what’s going on.

    I know a lot of smart people who are just chucking their unopened 401K statements because it makes them feel better.

    Other smart people who I pointed here and other blogs and advised them last October to take all their past 401ks and roll them into an IRA and as close to cash as possible (i.e. not money markets) looked at me like I was from Mars, until recently.

    It’s a local perception game. Credit cards are still working. The supermarkets still have food (most of it from 500 miles away or greater). Gas and heating oil prices have dropped. “It’s not affecting me. I don’t need my retirement for years.” – that’s the perception. (Yikes!)

    It’s only when the job losses hit that suddenly the world gets a lot more in focus, and then the helpless anger hits.

    The real kicker – recently I’ve been asking my colleagues and clients the following.

    Do you think President Obama / McCain will be able to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its debt next summer?

    The deer in the headlights look I get lasts for at least a minute.

  49. cajhin

    I’m just an amateur, only half-educated in the field of economy. What drew me to your blog is the question “what does it mean?”. The mechanics of the credit crisis and the state interventions were very much beyond me, so I was looking for a source that tries to educate, not manipulate me (I believe your blog is such a source, thank you for that).

    At first sight, the last week seems rather easy to explain – recession acknowledged, stocks go down. No need to spend the evenings on research why this is happening…

    I have no idea if this is a valid guess; but I’d assume that the hardcore crowd reads everything you write anyway; so the traffic spikes are primarily driven by people like me who only show up when they are confused by what is going on in the financial world (of course, I contradict myself by being here…)

    Since I don’t have much to say, before I go back to lurking mode, thank you again for your blog (and for many of the interesting comments). This is so much more intellectually stimulating that the mainstream press (special thanks for not explaining how shorting works in every second article…)

  50. Chris

    In some ways we do appear to have come down to pretty much of a fundamental level for the moment: a global crisis reflected in the currency and credit instruments which bind nations and peoples together through the kinds of activities by which people in association attempt to organize their lives.

    We’ve been through mortgages, banks, commodities, stocks, currencies, probably have further to go on all of them, and have arrived at the imponderables of politics with a big “P” which is to say global negotiations based on national interest among countries which are equal in some respects (UNGA votes) and unequal in others, military power, economic power, raw material availability, and of course, financial surpluses and deficits.

    What is unequal among otherwise equals needs to be negotiated into something which all can agree to, in one way or another, as basically fair and acceptable. In principle the dependencies between the US and its creditors (China, Japan, oil producers) ought to provide the basis for a negotiated solution which everyone could live with.

    As usual in such negotiations there are not enough seats at the banquet for everyone who thinks they should be among the invitees.

    Thus there is also the matter of who will be left out, and how they will come to be left out. Whoever that turns out to be will also probably be left to carry the can of responsibility which others have kept on trying to kick down the road a piece.

    Competition for that last chair seems to be between two contenders. There is Britain’s City of London financial center, which E-P’s run down of what he calls “Europe” in well mannered British humility does not mention, and there is Moscow. Financial losses among the Russian oligarchs who trusted their fortunes to the Brits management methods (hedge funds, etc) provide a kind of index for this.

    Unfolding events will probably have significant influence over which of the two gets the empty seat at the top table. And together with the result of the US political campaign will contribute to shaping whichever obsessions and interests turn out to dominate over the coming months.

  51. Anonymous

    To the investors who don't understand why the spike in US treasuries & dollars:

    For at least the next 5 years you can count on the USA having

    a) the largest and most advanced navy & airforce

    b) the most advanced army

    c) strategic control of the internet

    If the world is headed towards unrest, oligopoly and enormous political risk, why would you be long anything else?

  52. Blissex

    «The real question for me through fifteen years was, Why haven’t we gotten the hard recession that is cyclically indicated by the kind of modeling I do? It is, or rather was an intellectual conundrum.»

    Greenspan’s Put and Bernanke’s Swaps :-).

    «Eight, nine years ago, it was clear to me that the reason was that the colossal bloom in dollar debt kept pushing the bust down the timeline while bloating its probable amplitude.»

    Very similar here, and this calendar year I think I figured out the source of all this (and check out the linked graphs, some of them I guess will be familiar):

    Add to that that the USA is running a war economy where the twin imperatives have been to finance the war and to keep the home front distracted.

  53. Blissex

    «To the investors who don't understand why the spike in US treasuries & dollars: [ … ]
    a) the largest and most advanced navy & airforce b) the most advanced army

    If that is what attracts people, bad news there, because if that is something that really matters, the world is going to be too fucked up.

    «c) strategic control of the internet»

    Not really, and worthless anyhow.

    «If the world is headed towards unrest, oligopoly and enormous political risk, why would you be long anything else?»

    “oligopoly” is irrelevant. But “unrest” and “political risk” are very relevant. The main “flight to safety” aspect of putting your money in the USA is that the USA have had reliably right-wing, plutocratic, rentier-friendly governments since their founding. A bit like Switzerland too.

    No risk of confiscation by a socialist revolution.

    Foreign plutocrats would rather put their money in the USA because they think that USA politicians are more plutocrat friendly than their home country politicians.

    The problem with that is that the USA government is indeed like that, but it is bought for and reliably supports american right wing, plutocratic, rentiers, not foreign ones, who don’t own/lease/rent representatives and senators in the same numbers as american ones.

    If it is in the interests of american plutocrats to screw their foreign counterparts the american governments will do it without a blink. And it is getting close to that.

    And those world-beating army, navy and air force mean that the USA plutocrats could very well screw their foreign counterparts who have put their assets in the USA without worrying about retaliation.

    Try to imagine the USA government sharply devaluing the dollar…

  54. Mbuna

    I am burned out in tracking the financial crisis plus am I more interested in tracking the moves of the election right now. My financial curiosity will perk up again after the election.

  55. Stephen

    Interesting question, why would traffic drop or not spike.

    My supposition, right now the “leaders” arent running around like headless chickens. We were being told crisis crisis crisis leading up to TARP….now it is at a stage of Ongoing Problem.

    The US election is cover for this, and it may be masking other events. I do beleive that post the election there will be lots of reaction one way or another.

    I am a recent reader, like one poster mentioned it is because I am seeking out information and mechanics. While I am familiar with lots of stuff I have never had any reason to pay attention to LIBOR or TED spereads or CDO’s.

    For the moment I do. I was able to convince myself we had driven and were driving toward an abyss. For the moment it is uncertain if there is another one coming down the road, hence the continued reading and research.

    I am not trying to build positions or anything else. I am just trying to make simple decisions, like sell the house or not, take a lower paying job or not. SOme things are clear, while we werent heavily indebted it is apparent that no more debt will be accumulated for a number of years. I fear inflation and interest rate spikes, although in theory t is better to be indebted in inflationary times if your cash flow keeps up or exceeds…..just dont want the vulnerability.

    Times will be tight, just because I think people will be chastened by this for some time.

  56. Matt Dubuque

    Yves, I can only speak anecdotally of my own experience here.

    Over the last few weeks, although I still rely on you as a critical source of timely information from the Internet on the crisis, I have retreated somewhat from the 24/7 news cycle to more focused study of longer term trends so that I may shore up some of the gaps in my knowledge base. As you may know, I am an evangelist of sorts for life without a television in the USA because I feel that it tends to be a distractor in so many ways and I am always looking for ways to improve my decisionmaking and enjoyment of life.

    For example, I am persuaded that there are important correlations between Taiwanese politics (the brutal beating of a mainland representative last week in Taipei, the large demonstrations against the KMT and the Taiwanese decision to forbid insurers from owning RMBS) AND the bold steps of the Chinese in Shanghai, their renewed focus on reunification with Taiwan and mainland Chinese behavior in the international CP market.

    But those relationships are deeply nuanced. For example, the Kuomintang are the radical NATIONALIST party of Chiang Kai-Shek on Taiwan, long the arch-enemy of Communism. Why are people in Taiwan demonstrating against the KMT rapprochement to the mainland? How is this related to Japan’s role on the island?

    The answers to this are FAR more subtle than understood by AP and AFP or the Asian Wall Street Journal. But they are CRUCIAL to predicting HOW the Chinese AND Taiwanese will act in concert (AND at cross purposes), as the Asian era unfolds.

    So I’m spending much less time on the Internet and focusing much more on some pretty deep study of a number of issues to reduce the risk of surprises and to keep my understanding and prediction tools tuned.

    Matt Dubuque

  57. Matt Dubuque

    Another fact that accounts for the widespread silence, in my sincere view, is that most Americans had an “endgame scenario” about how all this would end, the greed, the excess, etc.

    And they made their contingency plans for the “end of the world” accordingly.

    That view and all that preparation was for a scenario of hyperinflation, of the government “printing money” as Ron Paul says.

    That was the overwhelming consensus in the USA, even with Bernanke.

    But now, as the price of copper and gold and commodities and oil ACCELERATES its collapse, people are becoming very disillusioned that they were deeply mistaken.

    Inflation does not fare well in a Depression. Tens of millions are completely unprepared.

    So that has caused many to go mute and to retreat into themselves.

    Matt Dubuque

  58. doc holiday

    Uncle Billy Is Shocked ,

    How nice to see you here! It is a small world and so easy to cross from border to border. Welcome, welcome!

    Your fear of insane people is rooted in a lack of global confidence and the lack of any leadership, so in many ways, I’m behind you in your thoughts of fear and look forward to working on solutions.

  59. FairEconomist

    I’m definitely burning out. I can only sustain this level of emotion for a limited time without direct personal interests. I was downright emotional from when the Lehman bust went bad through the TARP passage – I was yelling invective to myself (and sometimes blogging it) and having crying jags. Now, I’m getting numb.

    Partly is that my own investments have been moved to match my current understanding of the crisis, and that I (finally!) convinced my mother (with help) to move her assets to a similar and comparatively safe portfolio. My personal prediction for the longer-term result (depression, accompanied by unknowable inflation on the whim of the Fed) is pretty stable, so there’s really not much I can do now.

    Partly it’s exhaustion trying to get a handle on this. My attempts to anticipate things on the short term are just failing. The problems keep coming from places I hadn’t even been thinking about (like this week’s 10% rise in the Yen against the dollar and more against the Euro). By the time I get some handle on that something new goes haywire. My tentative model is that this is all being driven by hedge unwinding, which means there are no predictions anybody can make because what’s going to be unwound next is unknowable.

    Emotion’s purpose is to drive action, and I have no contructive actions left to take. My finances are as secure as they are going to be, and I can’t contribute much to intellectual analysis if this is really being driven by unwinds in secret hedging positions. So my emotions are prodding me to go back to my normal life and wait for the mess to be over.

  60. Hank Paulson's Mom

    “So I wonder if the public is beginning to get burned out…either because it now seems to be too much of the same to them, or has simply become too much.”

    Events like wild swings in the stock market, massive government intervention (remember when guaranteeing Bear debts to $29B was a big deal?), and companies folding have become, well, commonplace. Commentators on CNBC no longer so much as raise an eyebrow at 5% one day moves in the US stock market. It’s not so much fear, but a renormalization current events to the new “normal”. It can be looked at as a form of desensitization.

  61. Hank Paulson's Mom

    “So I wonder if the public is beginning to get burned out…either because it now seems to be too much of the same to them, or has simply become too much.”

    Events like wild swings in the stock market, massive government intervention (remember when guaranteeing Bear debts to $29B was a big deal?), and companies folding have become, well, commonplace. Commentators on CNBC no longer so much as raise an eyebrow at 5% one day moves in the US stock market. It’s not so much fear, but a renormalization current events to the new “normal”. It can be looked at as a form of desensitization.

  62. Johan

    Well, it probably is true that "most people" don't understand what's going on – and frankly that includes most people who have the time to write in blog's comment sections. (snark)

    You can call it desensitization if you want – although I would call it healthy desensitization. I don't get the sense that the "average person" (around me at least) is sanguine about the crisis at all (the average talking head on CNBC might be). They are very much aware of, for example, the hits they have taken in their 401k's (and many have come to terms that retirement will need to be delayed), layoffs at their work, troubles with getting loans, etc.

    At the end of the day there is just a lot more that needs to be done in life than keep track of whatever the latest crisis is in the financial markets; such as raising your children, eat & exercise, volunteering for your church, or whatever else you do that actually makes LIFE worth living.

    In the end, what is the average person to do on a day-to-day basis? Most try to make the right decisions with their finances, work hard to keep their jobs, etc. Believe me, come November people will let their views be know. Any incumbent, red or blue, should be shaking in their boots.

  63. Serf

    I agree with Doc Holliday and mittelwerk…I called my congresspeople, which resulted in an $850B bailout instead of a $700B one.

    So I realize I’m a powerless pawn in a rigged game. Hank Paulson will just find more creative ways to take money from me and give it to his friends from “Government Sachs,” (the New York Times term) and the only possible “action lever” I have to stop it is suicide.

    I work partly on commission, and have lost more by trying to keep up with events than I have in the markets.

  64. Anonymous

    October 26, 2008

    Me too. Ditto and Ditto.

    My comments of recent, as you already know, have come from the aforementioned frustration, and a deep felt realization that 99.9% of our fellow/feminow citizens don’t have the foggiest idea of what’s going on, as if we know, and we don’t.

    The closest I can come to the truth in this moment is that we now have a “Bank of the USA” that has stolen, and is stealing, OUR MONEY, making Sub-Market-Rate “investments” to protect their own and their Wall Street buddies’ “deferred compensation plans” (think Cheney), and that we, the “investors”, have no representation on the boards of these recipient company much less any access to the fundamentals (The Deal) on which the “investments” were made.

    I think we are being “screwed, blued, and tattooed.”

    Earl L. Crockett
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Heading to the beach on a glorious sunny day,to “return to the sea from which I came” for a swim.

  65. Anonymous

    I am totally burnt out at this point. Tarp kinda fried my circuits. I am just kinda ho humm waiting for bottom. I am out of the market, into metals, food, cash and waiting. I also have no faith in the next administration..doesnt matter who it is. Paulson and friends are incapable and making a huge incompetent mess and congress is impotent. This may be what the fall of an empire looks like.

  66. Uncle Billy, Burnt

    Kona, a hearty cross-blog mahalo from Uncle Billy’s Hilo Hotel. What’s up doc?


    That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Bupkes. No fascinating link, no dazzling insight into the carry trade in Cote D’Ivoire. I’m spent until Monday. Oh wait a sec, this just in: Will Geer planted every plant mentioned in Shakespeare’s works, in his Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles, California? That land was his land that land was our land…

  67. David


    Oh, well, I admit to watching more cable tv than I ever have and now trying to to regain sanity. But seeing alan greenspan own up to some amount of guilt in admitting that his ideology’s underpinning’s are not up to what he thought for ‘the last 40 years’ was priceless and also seeing former Sec. of Treasury Snow spouting some Fox News drivel about Democrats causing all this mess was another.

    thank you, C-span.

    Other ‘money shows’ were comic relief, compared to my usual NPR stolid performances. Now, I pry myself away from the ‘tube. And maybe a little less intertubes too.

    Perhaps seeing the abyss before us, I suspect many of us will be desperately returning to what remains of our work and hunkering down to plow for that last crop for awhile.

    Extra hours? let me have ’em as they’re might not be work next year.

  68. mxq

    I definitely think the spikes are a function of the learning curve.

    My guess is that anytime there are esoteric ideas/mechanisms that pop up, people initially try to get their arms around them until they understand that idea/mechanism and feel comfortable with their ability to translate the “lingo” via any media outlet.

    NC and BP are a couple of the “on demand” tutorials sites where this sort of trasnlation help is aptly administered.

  69. tompain

    1) “people who stayed glued to their TV, no matter where they lived, were unhinged”.


    2) “I was so fried from having stayed up all night watching Asia and then European markets in their AM melt down “


    3) “Bloodbath” as a description completely lacking in perspective for what happened on Friday

    I’d say a possible explanation for your relative decline in traffic is the Chicken Little effect. You think the sky is falling, ok, we get that now. Not much need to check back intraday to see if you’ve changed your mind, when in fact it is clear that any conceivable observation you might make will confirm rather than refute the fact that the sky is falling.

  70. Zeke

    Yes, I am burn out on this crisis. Part of it is there is no one to disucss it with. My friends think I am a raving loon because I keep bringing it up.

    Part of it is that the blame is so difuse. I find both the attempts of the FoxNews types to blame it all on minority lenders and the bloggers here blaming it “The Republican ideology of The Bush Ownership conspirators” equally laughable.

    Start wtih Greenspan, arguably the most culpuble individual in the whole mess. He was appointed by both Dem and Rep administrations, he was lauged by a lot of left wing pundits. It was one of the great scions of the left press that wrote “Maestro” not Ann Couter.

    Sure Bush and Co. have done nothing to reign in the excess of the markets. But neither did Clinton, he took the credit for the bubble. His supporters still do, sighting the “no deficit” years as a signular accomplishment of his administration.

    It maybe divine justice that Bush is the man standing when the music stops, but who will be laughing when we are in year 5 of the crisis and year 4 of Obama trying to fix it?

    There is, I guess, plenty of corruption everywhere you look. Dodd taking low interest rate loans, Barney Frank with his boyfriend at Fannie while regulating that agency, Bush firing his first Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin as the first GoldmanSachs Treasury Secretary, etc.

    Which might be another way of saying our politicl narratives don’t fit this crisis. Attempts to make them fit, whether of the Fox News type, or the “Republican deregulation is the root cause” are both mostly wrong.

    It’s way bigger than that.

  71. florykolr

    I wonder how much of it is a feeling of relief? Now that it’s pretty clear McCain and Bible Spice won’t be running things for the next 4 years, people are feeling like they can leave the problem solving to the professionals and get on with their lives?

  72. Anonymous

    72 posts here? A year ago, it was normal to see maybe 7 posts, and then on hot topics, maybe into the 20’s.

    What zee hell is going on here?

  73. Lolie Atkins

    This is quite a discussion! It covers so many interesting ideas that I will confine myself to a response just the narrow thread about burnout and no caring anymore.

    It reminds me of a saying my grandfather used to say- it you know your hellbound, you may as well sit back and enjoy it. This advice got me through college but then I had to re-evaluate things. With some mature introspection I realized this advice was terrible! Rather than sit back and let bad things happen, we can actively shape our environment to stop the bad things from happening.

    So when we are down in the muck, we shouldn’t think- its not so bad if…- rather we should get out of the muck. That is why I love this new article by Steve Forbes- – he actually gives a path for standing up, and moving on after the crisis. We don’t have to just sit back and take bad things. We can do something about it!

  74. Anonymous

    I find it surprising that so few people here suggest that one of the reasons for the decline in traffic may be because the crisis in the US financial system is declining.

    just another contrarian indicator perhaps…

    also, it can’t be surprising that most people in the US do not find the subject of an Icelandic or Hungarian crisis as compelling as the collapse of the US financial system.

    of course, burnout is certainly a factor – and that might not be a bad sign for things either. some people, like me, have lost their jobs as a direct result of the crisis. for a while afterwards, the crisis remains an important subject, but eventually you have to find something to do with the rest of your life.

  75. bg

    Anon 9:53,

    I personally am very interested in the Icelandic and Hungarian crisis. Since we are humans, we are interested in human narrative where we can relate to the participants. This blog is about Goldman, Paulson, hedge funds, et al. Where do we go to find the eurocentric narrative on the crisis? Where for the asian narrative? Where can we get Michael Lewis meets James Clavell?

    This is a great story because it involves the princes of our societies, and impacts each one of us in our flesh. Of course we want to know how others feel too.

  76. Anonymous

    florykolr, “Bible Spice” that’s the first time I’ve seen her referred to as that. It’s Great! Thanks!

  77. Lockstep

    Yves, I would say this is a type of capitulation. I think the main stream is becoming to accept the downturn as inevitable so there is less drama in the news. IMHO.

  78. David Merkel

    Yves, it’s the same phenomenon of people not looking at their brokerage statements. There is burnout — in the five stages of grieving, we are between depression and acceptance.

    Here are stats for Barry, you and me (in that order, the shapes are similar):

    My stats have fallen off more because of time reasons. I’ve had to scale back to spend more time on business and family.

    Keep up the good posting.

  79. Lynn

    Before October the mainstream media had such a Pollyanna view on the economy that the only place to find a realistic view was the alternative media, such as financial bloggers. Now, the mainstream media is finally calling this a crisis, so we don’t feel the need to rush to bloggers everytime an events occurs. Once a day is quite enough.

  80. doc holiday


    Where the hell did you go dude? I thought we had a rating agency, and now, as we know, things sometimes fall apart in the middle ( Did Yves Kidnap you? )

    Re: Uncle Billy, Burnt said…
    Kona, a hearty cross-blog mahalo from Uncle Billy’s Hilo Hotel.

Comments are closed.