Stunned beyond words

What can you say about the worldwide financial crisis? New ticker in Times Square, New York CityI have not blogged in 24 days – each time I think I can latch on to a thought or comment it is over run by the news. We are truly in a second-by-second news cycle as each tick of the Dow Jones Industrial average spiraling perpetually downward brings a heightened sense of dread. It started on my birthday, September 29, as the House defeated the initial bailout package and the bottom fell out of the market – a stunning 777 point drop. I did not feel like celebrating that day.

Yesterday, when the market skyrocketed nearly 1,000 points I felt like celebrating. The world economies banded together and found a way to stave off catastrophe, at least for the moment. How many billions is it costing? I lose track, but I am sure that the cost will exceed the financial hit we took with the Iraq war.

Can we absorb all these humongous outlays? No, of course not. In order to fix our excesses and greed we must embrace excess and regulation. According to David Brooks, columnist for the The New York Times who is uncannily right most of the time, we are headed for real hard times. It is unavoidable no matter who wins the election. See today’s Brooks column Big Government Ahead. 

What does the financial whirlwind mean to us poor PR shlubs? First comes the hiring freeze, already in effect in most large agencies. Then comes the layoffs. It has been impossible to break through to most financial/business media in the past three weeks. Clients start reviewing contracts, scrutinizing all marketing/PR outlays. It is tougher to make a living in PR today than it was three weeks ago and it will get tougher still.

The future is more uncertain because we are living in the NOW – the vagaries of the U.S. markets minute-to-minute, and the foreign markets preceding our market over night. I don’t know what to say. Thanks to Al Sutherland for long comment on 9/17 post “Is Financial Media Aiding Wall Street Collapse“.  Al still has some words to offer.

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