Economies Of Scare

Making mountains out of molehills is a fool's industry, but what about making mountains out of frozen-over industrial hells?

Earlier this week, the publisher of The New York Times revealed [url={4AE745DE-3A04-43AD-B13E-06C655986F55}&dist=hpts]an 82 percent profit drop from last year[/url]. Today, Ford announced a second quarter loss of $8.7 billion. In case you didn't catch that: Ford lost $8.7 billion. Unfortunately, Chris Jordan isn't around to put that number into perspective. But it's something along the lines of Rupert Murdoch losing all of his billions of dollars, then finding 400 million more of them, then losing that too.

A lot of people are going to suffer as a result of these losses-and not just shareholders. But the downturns also communicate a symbolic sort of chaos. When you learn about mass-production and industrial capitalism, you learn about the revolutionary heroism of Henry Ford. When you learn about freedom of the press, you learn about the The New York Times's indelible print media. Now these paragons of mythologized Americana face (what once seemed like) incomprehensible financial realities; the narrative of our collective economy appears bankrupt of heroes, and literally bankrupt. Then again, it's just business.