As I read about Dubai’s economic drama today, I was struck by how quickly the US stock market responded with a drop of 150 points. It got me thinking: what’s the connection?
I get the basic reasoning: Dubai’s problems could impact the world financial system, and not in a good way. But how does the market connect the dots between a US company’s value and Dubai postponing debt payments for 6 months? Sure, if you are in a business that depends on those debt payments, I can see where the market might see your company as a worse risk than it was a week ago.
But in general, isn’t this really about Fear? The fear that the economic landscape may not improve as quickly, or that it may get worse. The fear that our financial problems are not going away. The fear that my job might be in jeopardy, and in short order I’ll lose my income, my house, my car, and eventually, I’ll die broke and homeless.
All because Dubai can’t make its payments. Weird…
It’s nearly to separate irrational fear from reality in today’s challenging times. Maybe the market is right, and this will be very, very bad. Or not. A quick scan of “expert opinion” can give you any number of options. Take your pick.
In the end, it’s what we make up about events that determines how we feel and respond. There’s no question that 2009 has been one of the most challenging in my work life. But as I look around at my existing and potential clients, at my network, at my friends, I see signs of hope.
And I’m choosing to see those, and believe in better times to come. Sooner rather than later.
After all, as long as I’m making stuff up, why not make up good stuff?