What would we do in these confusing and difficult economic times without the New York Times to hold our hand and guide us through things? For example, today’s incredibly useful article with the headline, “A Sense That Wall St.’s Boom Times Are Over.” Being far from Wall Street myself at the moment, it’s hard to get a good feeling for what the mood is like in New York. Lucky for us, the Times has two ace reporters on the scene taking the pulse of the financial community and reporting that there is “a sense” that Wall Street’s boom times are over. Indispensable!
With an insightful headline like that, how could anyone who cares about the future of the economy not start reading? Here is the lede:
The old Wall Street is giving way to a new one.
As the tectonic shifts within the American financial industry shook the world’s markets on Monday, many experts predicted that events of the last 72 hours heralded a new period of painful change for Wall Street.
The predictions were sobering. Investment banks will be smaller. Their profits will be leaner. Jobs in finance will be scarcer. And the outsize role of Wall Street in the nation’s economy will shrink.
That is the extreme case.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: the “extreme case” is that investment banks will be “smaller,” with “leaner” profits. If that’s the extreme case, then what is a scenario in which investment banks disappear entirely, because they all have huge losses instead of just “leaner” profits? What is a scenario in which the collapse of the investment banks leads to a run on other banks and a total meltdown of the entire financial system? Apparently that’s just too extreme for these two reporters to be willing to mention. As I said, what would we do without the New York Times to hold our hand, and tell us that everything will be okay…