Noonan: Maybe Wall Street Was High on Xanax

Maybe money men were hopped up on anti-depressants
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2009 7:39 AM CDT
Pedestrians walk past Pfizer world headquarters in New York, in this Dec. 4, 2006 file photo.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, file)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Peggy Noonan has a novel explanation for the crash (“or the great recession, or the collapse—it’s time it got its name”): What if the bankers were all hopped up on happy pills? Antidepressant use became widespread in New York after 9/11, she notes in the Wall Street Journal. “I wonder if Xanax, Zoloft and Klonopin, when taken by investment bankers, lessened what might have been normal, prudent anxiety,” she writes. “Maybe Wall Street was high as a kite.”

Surely, such happy pills are flying off the rack even faster now, for we’re in a depressing, anxious moment. Gun sales are up, as is church attendance. A Manhattan psychiatrist tells Noonan that depression cases rising, driven by a “psychological pandemic of fear.” We’re in a moment that is strange and disquieting, “a time that seems full of endings,” says Noonan. “Too bad there’s no pill for that.”