People Are Getting Worried About This Economy

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Photo: AgnosticPreachersKid, Wikimedia Commons

Having been writing about the economy for the last few years, one thing I’ve observed is this: The stock market tends to dictate the way people feel about the economy. When the market goes up, people get very good at telling stories about how the recovery is real. When the market goes down, they start believing the worst.And so it goes that with the declines over the last few weeks, the worry is on.

It was interesting that today two different cable news programs had a heavy econ focus.

Meet The Press had Jim Cramer as a guest. On the show he warned about imminent bank runs in Europe.

MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes had a pure 2-hours of 4 econ folks (Ezra Klein, UNC professor and blogger Karl Smith, economist Betsey Stevenson, and William Black). There was a lot of talk about the fiscal cliff, and how things could all go kablooey in 2013 if the political stars don’t align right.

It’s interesting that people are talking so much about the fiscal cliff. In the very beginning of the year, it seemed like one of those things that econ/analyst-types were talking about, but which everyone figured would be ignored by most people until around the election, or after. But that obviously isn’t the case.

In fact, one of the things that Nomura economist Lewis Alexander told us back in early April is that clients had shown an interest in the fiscal cliff far earlier than he’d expected.

Obviously, in addition to all that, the crisis in Greece/the Eurozone and the slowdown in China are big stories.

And on top of that, this weekend I got a call from a non-finance relative asking about the state of the market (always a sign of something, though I’m not sure what).

So it’s pretty clear that after this latest bout of selling, the worrying has been jacked up. It’s interesting, too,  that in recent days, Obama is finally starting to crack a little bit on InTrade. He had been at about 60% odds to get reelected for weeks. But he’s down to 57% now — a level not seen since early this year.

SEE ALSO: A complete guide to the fiscal cliff >

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