Is this a crisis?

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.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing
Previous story: Forever 21 + Mervyn's?

Next story: Sign of the Times

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook