Waiting for the other shoe to drop

Waiting for the other shoe to drop on Wall StreetIt’s been a harrowing couple of days as, one after another, financial institutions sputter on the brink of evaporation. The bulk of my 20 year career has been in financial PR, often representing Wall Street banks such as Lehman Brothers. In good times the work is heady and intellectually stimulating. You get to work with some brilliant people who are masters of complex financial maneuvers.  They are comfortable in their jobs, cocooned in their rich rewards, greasing the wheels of capitalism – until it all comes crashing down.

The financial media, by and large, disdain PR manipulations – they deal in facts and hard currency in legitmate story ideas and sources that can enlighten, analyze and inform. When a crisis hits, like now, Wall Street infiltrates main stream media and the politicians and commentators bellow about rampant greed and corruption that must be stopped.

The reality is that we will survive and occasional bloodletting keeps the system sound. The heap of toxic debt that is poisoning the system will be absorbed or regurgitated and Wall Street will invent new ways to securitize debt that will create mounds of wealth – until it doesn’t. It’s like the real estate market, feeding on natural boom and bust (all those unoccupied expensive condos in New York seem ghostly now).

Andrew Ross Sorkin, DealBook, The New York TimesThis is the time when financial media takes center stage and the machinations behind the fortress of the New York Fed becomes the inner sanctum we all want to crack. This is the time when the New York Times DealBook, edited by Andrew Ross Sorkin (right), becomes the central source we go to at three in the morning when we can’t sleep because we want to know if the Asian markets are preceding turmoil in the U.S. and the other shoe is about to drop. Andrew (he seems so young – what else can you call him?) is not simply a columnist or a reporter, although he is both. He is essentially publishing a newspaper within a newspaper with blogs, breaking news, analysis, background, graphs, charts and myriad visuals. If it’s not all there, you can catch him regularly on Charlie Rose for more.

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