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March 02, 2009

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Ben

Hi Kent,

I haven't commented for a while, but I'm strongly agree with this post. I commented a while back saying that I felt that this time is different from the great depression. My reason for this was the 24/7 news cycle grinding through information with no reflection.

In my country, Australia, a major company announced that they would be making 1800 workers redundant. The company CEO and the board had received big pay increases last year, while this company is receiving multi-million dollars in financial support from my country's federal government. The media has whipped up outrage, a couple of politicians have waffled on and a major union has called for a boycott of all of this company's products. I've also read letter writers to the newspapers calling for boycotting this company. Considering this company still employs just over 7000 employees, bankrupting this company through boycotts, won't a) re-employ those made redundant and b) will increase unemployment workers.

It's this catastrophic style of reporting that diminishes the mainstream media. It's unfortunate that the alternatives to the mainstream media also indulges into this "sky is falling" mode of behavior.

Your posts are a beacon of rational thought in a muddy sea.

Cheers


Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Thanks for the comment and sentiment reference from Australia!

Mainstream media sentiment has historically marked extreme points in economic cycles. In good times, bad news is under-reported and in bad times, good news is under-reported.

I believe that mainstream media, especially print media, is getting desperate for revenue, which is compounding the problem.

Print media is almost in a "do or die" situation. To survive, they must sensationalize their news to incite emotion with the objective of increasing ad revenue via increasing readership.

This is quite the paradox: Print media is sensationalizing the news to survive yet this persistent negativity is actually making economic conditions worse and "scaring" people into reducing discretionary spending, which includes print media subscriptions.

Thanks again for the comment and for supporting my "rational thought." It certainly is difficult to remain rational in an irrational environment...

Cheers...

Kent

Andrew

Are we afraid of the current economic situation as it is, or are we afraid of what we think it is?

an idea, an opinion about the economic times, based on previous knowledge; it is this idea, opinion, this previous knowledge about the fact, that creates fear.

"The mind is the maker of fear." Krishnamurti

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Andrew:

"Are we afraid of the current economic situation as it is, or are we afraid of what we think it is?"

We feel the current economic situation as it is, and extend that feeling into what we think it might be. Of course, that works on both ends of the cycle -- up and down.

The overwhelming sentiment now is for things to get worse, which may or may not occur. At present time, it is much easier for the masses to believe that the Dow, for example, is more likely to hit 4,000 in the next few months that it is likely to hit 8,000.

I completely agree with your implication that there is no such thing as a conclusion formed without preconceived notions.

Personally, I believe my only fear is the fear of others. I can be rational and logical all I want but an irrational herd can be deadly.

Thanks for the comment and quotes.

Cheers...

Kent

Jeremy Day

Hi Kent,

"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself.” ~ Pythagoras

This quote sums up very nicely what I was trying to get across in my Depression article that we are discussing now.

Cheers,
Jeremy

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Thanks, Jeremy. You actually illustrate my reasoning for using the words of others -- they often express my own thoughts better than I do!

"I quote others only in order the better to express myself." ~ Michel de Montaigne

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Where there is life, there is hope. I feel strongly that I can make it.

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About Kent Thune


  • Kent Thune is a philosopher who happens to be a money manager and freelance writer... Read More

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