"We're very careful not to throw words around like 'meltdown' and 'free fall,' " CNN correspondent Ali Velshi, who is getting mucho face time thanks to the meltdown and free fall, told the New York Times. The Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal is engaging in un-Murdochian restraint, banishing words like crash and pandemonium.
Maybe I have a limited vocabulary, but I'm not sure how else to characterize a month in which the country's largest financial institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, had to be nationalized; Lehman Bros., the fourth-largest investment bank, filed for Chapter 11; AIG, a component of the Dow Jones Indsutrial Average, had to turn over most of its stock to the government in exchange for an $85 billion loan; the government had to guarantee money-market funds to stop people from hoarding cash under their mattresses; the nation's largest savings and loan, Washington Mutual, failed; and the nation's greatest financial minds declare that a bailout the size of the Netherlands' GDP is needed to stop the bleeding.
Yes, we have to be careful about crying fire in a crowded theater. But calling Wall Street's a meltdown a meltdown is more like crying fire in a crowded inferno.