Shark Alerts and World Financial Crises

Is there really a world financial crisis?…

I went to the beach today and for the first time in my life I was a little worried about sharks. The reason I was feeling like this was the huge number of recent stories in the Perth news about shark sightings. Its as if there are more sharks lurking in our beaches than ever! And yet reality is that there have always been sharks and there are probably fewer now than ever before because we are better at killing them.

But the more we are told that something is true the more likely we are to believe it.

Which makes me wonder if the world is really in such a bad state… or… if we have heard some news reports and the result has been a self fulfilling prophecy.

We hear that things are bad so we sell our shares and as we sell our shares things get bad, so we sell more shares. So the media reports on the growing crisis and we get alarmed… and so it goes on.

Were things really that bad 6 months ago?

Or has media reporting actually created the crisis?

Whatever the case I am off to Lancelin tomorrow to go surfing and I know there is 50 000 x more chance of me getting killed on the road on the way there than getting eaten by a shark!

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10 thoughts on “Shark Alerts and World Financial Crises

  1. Yesterday I attended an informational session on insects and learned that mosquitoes are the deadliest of legged creatures yet we happily cavort in the woods and wetlands without a second thought to their presence. Have fun swimming with the sharks!

  2. I’ve been wondering about the crisis also – I’m in a govt job, so pretty secure there, but I’m in the kind of role where I might be described as a ‘social engineer’ or a ‘bleeding heart – do gooder’ or some wet, pink, leftist term like that. I’ve been told that if you want to demonstrate that you’re a real man with nerves of steel and want a bigger car, you get into private business or, better yet, into share trading etc.

    WHAT A BUNCH OF FAIRIES THEY ARE!!! As soon as the news sounds as though it might become bad sometime in the next few weeks, they all have kittens and drop their bundles! Provoking a situation where a bunch of lower-middle income earners lose their jobs. Meaning that I’d better be doing my ‘social-left-do-gooder-pinky’ job even better, to fix up the mess that traders have left behind them.

    I’ve wanted to get that off my chest for a while.

    I feel much better now!

    As far as all the shark sightings – I’ve seen more sharks wearing business suits down St Georges Tce than in the Indian Ocean!!

  3. Well I have four friends who have been retrenched in the past quarter; I have many friends who have lost about 25%-35% of their life savings and superannuation; There are several people in my church who have had to put off retirement (which will cause greater unemployment as they don’t leave their jobs and therefore younger people can’t have them); I know of denominations and missions agencies who have lost millions of dollars in investments and therefore are retrenching staff; I know of one church in Sydney that had to retrench 20 paid staff a month ago; I know of foundations that are not able to award grants this year; etc… so the financial crisis seems pretty real to me.

    It you want an analogy with sharks I am sighting them and they are very nasty.

  4. Hi Andrew – I know people are hurting. We personally lost around $150K two weeks ago (because of the crisis) and it has changed a fair bit of our own situation.

    But I am wondering to what extent it is ‘real’ and to what extent it is a product of the publicity

  5. It’s publicity to the extent that people are finally realising what has been happening in the financial world for the last 4-5 years. But, it’s very real in the sense that the system is not working properly.

    That said, I’ve got a feeling people will experience it very differently depending on where they live and what they do.

  6. I don’t know about the issue just relating exclusively to publicity. Economists talk about confidence which is currently very, very low. A loss of confidence in anything (a bank, a church, a leader, an economic cycle, a market, etc) will largely determine its fate. So as far as the media and publicity in general I’d say that there definately is a story and it is their job to tell it (otherwise they just provide propoganda).

    So I think the question is, is this loss of confidence well founded or hyped up? And the answer to that depends on one’s understanding of global financial flows and the US ecomony… both of which seem to have a rather bad case of the flu!

    Sadly we will see the real evidence of that this year as unemployment increases massively. Even tricky government playing with statistics won’t be able to hide the figures that are coming in the umemployment area!

    Sharks ahoy!


  7. I think the media most definitely does add to the hysteria. I am a firm believer in life imitating art, so to speak.

    I spent 12 years in commercial broadcast media, 9 of those years in news. Without a doubt, and sometimes purposefully, sometimes due to poor journalism, human error or for commercial reasons, the media does heavily influence our society and our world view.

    Teens by the soaps they watch – programming which has the power to normalise unhealthy behaviour. Older people by the news media. How many times have you said it yourself – “did you see that story on ACA last night” or “did read about that thing in the paper yesterday”. Most of us by the materialism we get shoved down our throats at every ad break and through the junk mail (a form of media) we get in our letterboxes daily.

    Whether it’s sharks in suits at the stock exchange, or sharks at the beach, or the sexual habits of our teens, or the sales catalogues of department stores; the media, for the most part, informs, influences and manipulates us on a daily basis.

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