Absolutely gobsmacked by the media coverage of the anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse.
This has been a classic diversionary tactic, drawing attention away from the plight of the real economy.
Lehman’s collapse was not the trigger for the global financial crisis, and its dangerous practices, such as dependence on short term loans, were shared by other investment banks.
Yes the anniversary of its collapse has been an excuse for politicians from President Obama downwards to voice their platitudes in broadcast and print.
MEDIA GAG THE MAN ON THE STREET
The media have dutifully spun the anniversary into fake significance – fake because their coverage has successfully avoided any mention of the real economy.
BBC World’s coverage at 1200 GMT started with and interview with one Singaporean MP, followed by a UK government adviser saying the economy may be recovering. The reports ignore the real economy. Not one interview with a real person reflecting the job losses and pay cuts, no lives from real businesses, not one reporter "out there". The media effectively gagged the man on the street.
Reporters were safely protected from the people on an empty floor of the New York Stock Exchange, on an empty floor in London’s City Hall overlooking Tower Bridge.. safely away from the real economy.
COVERAGE IGNORES REAL ECONOMY
The BBC spent tens of thousands on live links to Asia and the US, talking to no real people except a report from India saying that consumer spending is back where it was before Lehman’s collapse. Reporter Nik Gowing had to go to a diamond trader saying international demand is even higher than it was a year ago (which is patently untrue if you know anything about the diamond market).
The media festival over Lehman’s collapse shows it still hasn’t learned that banks are just a part of the economy. And it reflects the cosy view espoused by politicians that banks are the be all and end all. Pumping trillions of dollars into the banking system is enough, even if it fails to reach the real economy.