What's the Local Effect of More Bad Financial News?

Nick Meyer

Thousands of Wall Street hot shots are sitting home today in their undies while their expensive suits hang in the closet because on Monday, the nation’s already rocky economy just got even worse. They’re calling it “The Worst Financial Crisis in Modern Times,” a “Once in a Century Economic Event,” and “The End of an Era in American Business.” The Dow, NASDAQ, and the S&P all took major dives. Several companies that most of us have never heard of are either gone or clinging by their fingernails. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG – many of the companies that make the entire financial market go ‘round have hit the dirt. Talking heads all over the media are spelling out certain doom.

Ok, now pretend you didn’t hear about any of that. What’s the climate of our own local economy? Several local finance and mortgage big wigs are telling the Leader-Telegram that the people and the economy around here are just fine. But even in a financially “low-risk” environment like the Chippewa Valley, this sort of repeatedly bad news must have some local effect on the thoughts of us as individuals. From job security to small business to the housing market, locals have opinions just like the fat cats on Wall Street.

Throughout all the recession talk of the last several months, its seemed to me that the Chippewa Valley economy has been just fine. But more waves of bad news do give good reason for pause if nothing else. But this naïve optimist thinks (and hopes) we’ll be solid.