As purveyors of news, we should be the last people in the world to suggest that some news is too distressing.
But the financial news seems to have its own, special disturbing undertone that makes us want to sit in the corner with our hands over our eyes and our ears thoroughly plugged.
It's the endless yo-yo factor that repels us.
On Tuesday stock markets around the world fell sharply. Why? Well, according to the pundits, it was because of more problems with the Greek debt crisis, which could also cause a Europe-wide crisis, which could cause a world-wide crisis.
So why did markets panic just one Tuesday? And more importantly, why had they been so cheerful and positive for the past two or three months?
There have always been panics, booms and busts, bull and bear markets, ever since there have been financial markets. But it seems our present financial overlords - the oligarchy of bankers, bond traders, and ministries of finance that massage the flow of money around the world - have gone mad.
The news about Greece has not been good for a long time. It has been either bad or very bad. In the long term, everyone thinks things will get worse before they get better.
Yet traders seem to be grasping for any straw of good news as we recover from the worst recession in a generation. So stocks go up and up and up, and then down. Fast. We've seen stocks recover almost all the way to their pre-recession heights. Which likely means they have a long way to fall when things turn very bad again. Neither the heady rises nor the sharp plummets seem to be based on reality; it's all fear and hope.
We'll survive, of course. But maybe we'd get along better with a little less minute-by-minute coverage. The people running the economy seem to have lost their ability to think ahead more than 10 minutes.
@ Copyright 2013