“DON’T PANIC” – Words inscribed in large, friendly letters on front cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the ultimate compendium of practical knowledge on practically any conceivable subject, and the most popular book in the known universe. This is partly because it is slightly cheaper than the Encyclopedia Galactica, but is mostly because it has the words Don’t Panic inscribed in large friendly letters on it’s cover.”
Look who is telling us not to panic again: The WSJ Op Ed page!
“So there is no reason for stock market panic, nor for handwringing in the credit markets about an imminent default. Indeed, with the Senate finally — after months of dithering — passing legislation on Friday for a strong new Fannie and Freddie regulator, there is hope that the government will finally be able to rein in the excesses of these enterprises.”
–There Is No Reason to Panic
Of course, the last time this self same page told us not to panic, it was Bear Stearn’s David Malpass exhorting us not to Panic About the Credit Market:
“Equity markets have recently lost over $2 trillion in the U.S. and even
more globally — many times the likely amount of mortgage and corporate
debt losses in the foreseeable future. This is in part a correction
from the sharp global equity run-up through mid-July. Current prices
still signal growth ahead.”
How’d THAT work out?
How come every time a WSJ editorial tells us not to panic, we learn in subsequent hindsight, that Panicking is pretty much exactly what we should be doing?
By Panic, I mean pulling out all the stops to make sure any virally malignant, planet destroying financial cancer does not metastasize any further, mangling the good and the bad alike (or destroying a planet to make way for an interstellar bypass)?
Is there any reason to expect this chuckle-headed plea is going to turn out any different than the last chuckle-headed plea did?
There Is No Reason to Panic
PETER J. WALLISON
WSJ, July 14, 2008
‘Don’t Panic About the Credit Market
WSJ, August 7, 2007