The stock market pundits on TV
Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times writes Friday about the performance of the gurus who appear on television to talk about what’s happening in the markets.
McNamara writes, “As interns presumably scrambled to find ever-more creative synonyms for ‘plummet,’ anchors and analysts on the cable networks went hysterical and numerical, chronicling the Dow minute by minute with the tommy gun intonations of horse race announcers, slamming up charts and graphs and reaching such giddy heights of hyperbole — ‘Is the dollar now a double-edged sword impossible to catch barehanded on the way down?’ was an actual question heard on CNBC — that it may be years before the profession recovers.
“Gone was the restraint shown in the hours after news of Osama bin Laden’s death, the energized but somber tones that accompany reports of natural disasters or military actions, the ‘objectivity’ of political reporting. In its place was a collective adrenal gland dump. Here was a story everyone could go nuts over, a story with disaster in the headline and no body count; a story about money, which is not only intrinsically sexy, it means the networks were free to unleash all the crazy Wall Street types and foreign market experts.
“Natural agitators like Cramer and Santelli — men born to scream on the floor of the stock market — were in their element, and even the more measured (and British) Simon Hobbs appeared to be using more than three facial muscles. Meanwhile, men and women who spend most of their lives muttering to themselves in the corners of the cultural conversation (because nothing is more boring than finance until the markets start to fall) found themselves ragged into hair and makeup. What does the Brandeis economics department think of the situation?”
Read more here.