Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ticker Shock

It was somewhat surreal watching the stock price of my current client plummeting like there was no bottom all day yesterday. By late afternoon, the otherwise upbeat marketing types that sit in cubicles around mine, were mulling credit default swaps, sub-prime mortgages, derivatives, foreclosures - the whole enchilada of economic woes that defines these times. Clearly, everyone felt anxious and no one was quite able to focus on their job.

These things are contagious. I found myself carrying it over to another building where I had a meeting. My co-worker there had until then been buried under deadlines and had not paid attention to the stock price. When I mentioned it, his disbelief gave way to pessimism and fear. It was not a very productive meeting with everyone talking about what all this means to our lives, homes and jobs. We were feeding into each others' fears and worries until the sum of all our negativity leads us into a situation where we have real reason to panic. I wonder if this is how it feels before the credit default swap tsunami strikes.

2 comments:

ggop said...

Heard a great quote on Fresh Air (catch yesterday's podcast or online broadcast at their website)

"We privatize profits and socialize losses."

You and me HC will be paying for the colossal blunders committed by these so called "geniuses" of Wall Street.

I used to feel the MBA types are smart and we engineers are dorky. Now I realize all they learn in business school is to LIE.

Next time someone tells me they attended business school the first impression will just fall a notch. Especially if they were former techies.. :-)

Heartcrossings said...

ggop - After spending years with operation and data analysts I have come to realize that numbers can be cooked to tell whatever story you want to tell or better the powers that be want to have heard. If you can't trust the numbers there is little else that you can. I guess the Wall Street geniuses cooked one number too many this time...

Will check out the podcast.