Silence is golden

Can we blame our new 24-hour electronic news culture for the global financial meltdown? Certainly, the financial “experts” on television, radio and the Internet have all contributed to the fundamental crisis of confidence that has enveloped the global economic system. Take, for example, American television’s reigning drama queen of financial pessimism, Jim Cramer, who in the midst of the meltdown, created mass hysteria with his advice to investors to sell, sell, sell. “Whatever money you may need for the next five years,” the controversial pundit screamed at millions of CNBC viewers on 6 October, “please take it out of the stock market right now, this week.”

There’s also no doubt that the hyper-democratic Internet – with its self-published loonies and conspiracy theorists -- lends itself to a dangerously superficial and populist analysis of incredibly complex economic phenomenon. My advice, then, in these turbulent economic times, is for investors to switch off all electronic media. Don’t listen to either the crazy Cramers or the bloviating bloggers. The wisdom of the crowd has no value in a financial crisis. Silence is golden. It might even make you rich.