David Carr, NY Times: Stoking Fear Everywhere You Look. Every modern recession includes a media séance about how horrible things are and how much worse they will be, but there have never been so many ways for the fear to leak in. The same digital dynamics that drove the irrational exuberance — and marketed the loans to help it happen — are now driving the downside in unprecedented ways.
He’s right (assuming I understand his argument correctly) that the media were complicit in the bubble. I disagree, however, that the media are overly gloomy now.
Our society’s manic-depressive tendencies may well lead us into a steeper recession than is necessary in any economic sense. But people who save their money today are not being irrational, even though this is exactly the time you hope that enough people will spend to keep the economy from an absolute crater.
The media are only doing what they always do eventually: They get it right, way too late to make a difference.