19 Sep 2008

Crisis communication – for dummies


The need for clear explanations and plain English has never been more apparent than with the current financial crisis unfolding before our eyes. Equity volatility, derivative portfolios, short trading and CDS spreads are just a few of the financial terms being blamed this week for shaking the pillars of capitalism.

As one of my colleagues put it, “some greedy people sold some bad loans to some people who didn’t have enough money to pay for it and now you are stuck with the bill”.

The online version of the UK-newspaper, the Telegraph actually did a great job explaining the crisis by using stick figures and scatological expletives. And to be honest, I learned more from this presentation than from any of the so-called 'experts' who have been trying to explain what a repackaged, high-risk mortgage commodity is.

So while stick figures may seem like a joke, helping regular people understand a crisis of this magnitude is equally as important as cutting trillion dollar bail out checks to Fannie May and Freddie Mac.

So can someone now draw me a picture of the Large Hadron Collider, please?

/David

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