Optimism v. Pessimism: One last thing (or I guess two)

Posted by Rob Walker on September 30, 2008
Posted Under: America,Optimism

Back in the 1990s I worked as an editor at various personal finance and business publications, and one of the very smartest people I ever crossed paths with was Jason Zweig. So I was very interested in his WSJ column today, not least because of this point countering those who might think we’re headed toward another Great Depression:

When you spend time studying the Crash of 1929 and the depression that followed, what stands out the most is the dearth of doomsayers. Even Roger Babson, the economist known to posterity as “the man who called the crash,” did no such thing; he forecast only a 15% to 20% drop, not the apocalypse that actually occurred. Depressions start not when lots of people are worried about them, as we have today, but when no one is worried about them, as in 1929.

Interesting! Also this:

Furthermore, U.S. nonfinancial companies have just under $1 trillion in cash on their books. Even though Wall Street is dead, innovation is not: In the months to come, clever new financial go-betweens will spring up and find a way to get that cash flowing again. It’s hard to see how a depression could get under way when so much capital is waiting in the wings.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

Good to know. Thanks for sharing Rob.

Written By David Burn on October 3rd, 2008 @ 3:34 pm
Written By Muahaha on October 7th, 2008 @ 11:31 am