Saturday, June 20, 2009

ABC 20-20 "The New Normal"


ABC 20/20 last night aired a one hour program on “The New Normal” of altered or possibly lowered expectations after the financial crisis. Elizabeth Vargas reported.

With Wall Street shedding people, it no longer draws the “brightest.” Maybe that’s a good thing, where we need innovations like an energy Internet rather than more financial products. The show present 28 year old Timothy Sykes, who made enormous profits on his boyhood money in college, started on Wall Street, only to lose out on the crash. Now he is a financial writer and blogger, with a typical post describing his appearance here.

The show described a “typical” family that had given up most luxuries, including cable, and now says it is closer with the simpler life. Of course, such a story assumes one has married and had children to start with – not everyone has. But kids often are healthier with a simpler life with more time outdoors and more emphasis on social connections.

The show also presented another family that admits it was reckless with the mortgage it took out and with its use of credit cards. But does blame do any good?

The show also presented a spot on the financial crisis in Iceland. The news story is “How Iceland's Financial Vikings Ran Aground, For Briefly Booming Island Nation, 'New Normal' Means Return to Fishing Boats”, by Andrew Morse, Bill Weir, and Dan Przygoda, link here. A similar fate happened to the town of Narvik, Norway, which had invested too heavily in the US Mortgage market.

ABC 20/20 offers separate videos for each short report last night at its site.

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