Tuesday 16 September 2008

Newspapers and the crunch

We are in the middle of a great difficulty - the credit crunch which has accounted so far for one bank, and may well account for more. But I wonder how much media coverage tells the story right, and how much it exaggerates what is going on. If you read or listen long enough, most commentators get round to saying it's going to be manageable. But the language routinely used does make it seem almost apocalyptic. According to the newspaper you read, share prices have crashed, tumbled, collapsed, or plunged..... by 4%. That means if you had £1,000,000 in shares yesterday, you have £960,000 today. Not yet reason to stop mixing the martinis.

And apparently the credit crunch means "more bad news" (almost uniformly regardless of which paper you read) for house prices. Forgive me, but I believe it's actually good news for house prices. A lot of owners are losing a very small proportion of the value of their house, but this is a correction that is long overdue and which will in the end result in a housing market that is more affordable for everybody.

I note that Indie readers at least still have their priorities right. The four most viewed articles in descending order are:
- the ten best seduction techniques
- the 50 best cookbooks
- the ten best romantic wedding locations
- and only in fourth place - Canary Wharf turned into a cardboard city as thousands clear their desks

Best cartoon of the day so far is in the Independent. The caption is "Damien Hirst's Lehmann banker". You have to imagine the picture (but surely you can) as it doesn't seem to be available online. If you can't imagine it, this will give you a clue.

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