Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On the current economic crisis

The Wall Street financial crisis continues to hog headlines and airtime (good reads here and here). Even some local major news organizations have appropriately made several banner and front-page reports on the issue.

For those living under a rock in the past weeks or grappling with all those big-sounding business and financial terms related to the crisis, you might want to visit Carlos Conde's PinoyPress helpful post. You might want to read some of the links there for a quick understanding of the issue, but I recommend reading all the links he posted--just make sure you have enough time to do so. (Heck, I'm not even halfway finished in reading all the links Sir Caloy posted.)

The Attack of the Jargonites
September 19, 2008
By Carlos H. Conde

As with many business or financial story, the meltdown that just happened on Wall Street is often difficult to digest, what with all the jargon and the complex methodologies used by investment and insurance companies to get to where they are now. Does anyone really know what a “derivative” is or what a “credit default swap” really means? And who the hell are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Reading the papers and watching the news reports about the Crash of 2008 can often feel like they were written and produced by journalists who exist in a parallel world, a surreal, separate universe populated by Jargonites.

Read more here.

Hat tip to journalist Tonyo Cruz (who is this year's Best News and Media Blog in Philippine Blog Awards 2008) for linking readers to this commentary from Ian Bell of London-based The Herald: Capitalism has proven Karl Marx right again, Bell writes. In his post, Tonyo discussed the progressive, anti-imperialist view of the U.S. economic meltdown which effects reverberate throughout the rest of the world. He also linked related readings and news in other posts (here and here)

For more information about the effects of the U.S. crisis especially in the Philippines, do visit Money Smarts, the blog of business editor Salve Duplito. She has blogged the issue several times (including this and this). Duplito's blog has been a very helpful information resource for Filipinos, especially the ones who are jittery--and quite understandably--on what the repercussions of the crisis.

It seems that financial and economic woes will continue to dominate media space and airtime in the next few days. But for how long? According to the U.S. based Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research organization that monitors U.S. media's coverage of issues, a month before the meltdown started, the economy was not a major news agenda.

The Lull before the Storm
Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism
Sept. 18, 2008

"The credit crisis hit Wall Street hard the week of September 15. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch was bought out Bank of America, and insurance giant AIG was rescued with an $85 billion bailout by the Federal Reserve. On Sept. 15, the Dow fell 504 points, the worst one-day drop since 9/11. Two days later, the market plunged another 450 points.

"While this recent financial turmoil has dominated headlines and become the focus of the presidential race, PEJ’s News Coverage Index reveals that in the month preceding these events, press attention to the U.S. economy was at a low point for the year."

Read more here. Infographic above from the same article.

I know local research think thank IBON Foundation is having a forum today on the US economic meltdown. "The global crisis will further worsen the Philippines’ own economic crisis as neoliberal reforms have further deepened its links to the US and the global economy," IBON said in a statement inviting people to attend today's forum. "However, the economy would have been less vulnerable if the domestic economy were not overly dependent on trade, foreign loans and capital, and if nationalist economic policies were in place." I was supposed to attend the event, but decided to ask another colleague instead. I hope IBON would post the proceedings online.

1 comment:

luthien said...

bloody hell. i was pulled out of hibernation because of this thing. am working on 3 stories at the same time on top of desk duty and schoolwork. wala pa ako natatapos kahit isa.

as for the jargonitis, sometimes it comes out naturally that i keep forgetting that i am already speaking and writing in an alien language. aside from toning down the complicated words and figures (that's why we don't put numbers/values in our heads), my boss is thinking of putting a side bar or box for jargon definitions (like a glossary) to help students. problem is SPACE. ayus sana yun.

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