Former NYT reporter David Cay Johnston takes exception to my post earlier this week in which I questioned his comments on Warren Olney's "To the Point." Johnston, who claims that the credit markets are facing a "major problem" instead of a "crisis," expressed concern about how the media was being unnecessarily alarmist. Here's more:
"Crisis" is a word that discourages calm, rational thought and encourages fear and a herd response. The economy did not freeze up last Friday, the first artificial deadline. It did not freeze up Monday after the House vote. It has not frozen yet. Among the synonyms for "crisis" is "doomsday." This is not doomsday. That is not to assert that no problem exists. Clearly credit flow is worsening day-by-day. It is, rather, to remain calm and thoughtful and to encourage inquiry into the nature and causes of the problem and the solutions which may produce the best results.
A MAJOR PROBLEM? Fannie, Freddie, and AIG all bailed out by the feds in the space of a couple of weeks. Lehman Brothers left to fail. Merrill Lynch forced into a sale. Washington Mutual seized. Wachovia sold (to someone). A $700 billion rescue package raced through Congress. Credit tight as a drum. Hmmmm - remind me not to be behind this guy if my house is ever on fire.