Media Feeds Markets' Frenzy

'Volatility news cycle' as bad for traders as it is for nervous investors
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2008 4:50 PM CDT
Time to take a cue from Warren Buffett and turn off the TV.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Is the media behind the rampant volatility gripping Wall Street? It can’t be helping, longtime observer Roger Ehrenberg writes for Information Arbitrage. CNBC, Fox Business, and others recycle countless talking heads, each with passionate and conflicting views. “Media is motivated to evoke a reaction,” Ehrenberg reasons, so they “sew the seeds of conflict.” This constant bear/bull tug-of-war has created a “volatility news cycle.”

The effect is palpable. “Cool-handed money managers are acting truly bizarre,” Ehrenberg observes. One day they’re hopeful; the next, “I need to keep them away from the razor blades.” Perhaps, like Warren Buffett, we should all get our portfolios in order, then turn off the TV and forget about them. “If for no other reason, think of the savings on antacids, therapists, chiropractors and palm readers.”