Do you remember the days when journalists reported the news? Remember when you could trust them to share unbiased facts about what happened during the day?
I am reminded of gentlemen like Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw. You could listen with almost certainty that they were telling you the truth. Before stories hit the air, details were verified, and THEN the facts were shared. The decision of how to respond was left up to you.
Today? It’s all about the number of clicks and likes. It’s about the hysteria that news companies can generate. Can they create enough panic to earn them “credibility”? And I use that term loosely.
When writers and reporters are more concerned with keeping the pot stirred than they are about sharing facts, calmly and without bias, we can end up in a lot of trouble.
What happened last weekend with the Silicon Valley Bank was a perfect example of the media trying to cause panic. And some were successful. Yes, it was unnerving. It was the second largest bank failure in American history. The bank lost a lot of money, causing their customers to get scared. They went to withdraw their money, causing a run on the bank. The federal government stepped in, thru the FDIC, and closed the bank.
Then a New York bank failed, and concern started building. If you listened to any report on television or read anything on the internet, the Great Depression, part 2, was speeding towards us.
Take the lack of accountability of social media and combine it with news agencies who are fighting for viewers, and fear starts to build. Fear causes panic, which in this case could have led to a domino effect of collapsing financial institutions.
Why do I bring this up? First, remember one of the goals of media today – to generate excitement. It’s all about ratings and revenue. Second, I want you to pause and take a breath before making any major decisions.
As it relates to your financial plans, please remember that I am keeping a close eye on these events and how they impact your investments. The road has been a little bumpy, but I continue with the same advice that I have shared the last several months. We should stay the course. If our goals are focused on the long-term time horizon, there is no need to be concerned.
But if you’re still a bit anxious, give me a call. I want you, my friend, to be at ease.