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Saturday, Jun 3, 2023

Crisis of Confidence Not in the Economy

This is probably the toughest economic period anyone working in the business world today has seen. I’ve been either a reporter or editor of business news for 20 years and a member of the media for 30 and during that period of time I don’t remember anything even coming close. You’ve got what the media are portraying as the near collapse of a financial system, little access to credit, layoffs, a stock market in turmoil, disastrous housing market and extremely troubled banking system. That’s a lot of trouble to deal with. But one thing all of us need to keep focusing on is that things will eventually get better. What worries me almost as much as the financial meltdown is the crisis in confidence many of us have in our business and political leaders who we trust to lead us. The political leaders all seem terrified and aren’t concealing well enough the fact that they don’t know what to do. They’re making the average businessperson and the average American investor panic and have no confidence in our government or our financial system. There’s no clear direction from anybody. Maybe the bailout will work. Maybe it won’t. We’re all learning a huge lesson here. Frankly, we need to choose better quality leaders. I know I’m making blanket statements. All leaders have good moments and bad moments. But we’re seeing too many bad moments lately such as President Bush’s speeches recently where he did nothing but alarm the public. Same with Congress. I was happy to see that L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa didn’t panic when he addressed the United Chambers of Commerce during the Mayors’ Luncheon this past week in the Valley. His speech was a measured address where he told the audience that the city’s budget was in bad shape but he also said the city must still look to the future and not give up hope that things will get better. We still have construction projects going up and we still need to plan for more affordable housing, he said. We need to calmly work through our current problems but still keep the future in mind and not mortgage it too badly. Covering the current “crisis” at the Business Journal has been a challenge. We’re a bi-weekly and lots of things change between news cycles. Readers are getting a lot of their “bailout” news from the national media outlets. We’re trying to provide local news and local reaction of how businesses are trying to cope with all of this. But you also see by our coverage that there are other things going on that aren’t all gloom and doom. Like our leaders, there should be no reason to panic on the pages of the Business Journal. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at editor@sfvbj.com.

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