Yes, It's a Crisis: But We Still Need a Catchy Name

By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2008 10:40 AM CST
In this 1932 file photo, long line of jobless and homeless men wait outside to get free dinner at New York's municipal lodging house during the Great Depression.   (AP Photo/File)
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(Newser) – Though it's no secret the country is weathering a financial calamity, the crisis still lacks a catchy handle. The New York Times takes a look at news organizations' so-far unsuccessful efforts to find one: Some obvious contenders such as “credit crunch” and “Wall Street crisis” have popped up, but none have truly crystallized the trouble. "Great Recession" seems to be gaining steam, but only time will tell.

“The news always feels the need to name everything,” said one CNBC exec. “If it’s not branded, it doesn’t exist in modern television.” NBC's Brian Williams notes, however, that it's hard to brand something "when you're in the middle of it." The name will emerge, he says, "just as soon as we figure out what it is, exactly." Of course, just as WWI didn’t become so named until history found itself in a second one, the Great Depression had to wait a while before it became "great.”