Why Small Things Get Big Attention
[W]hile broad and complicated policy may not fully register in the minds of the public, a smaller, specific and easier to understand action can capture public attention and lead to substantial reactions, that in turn can galvanize the media and the congress.
Or, more to the point, if a company needed $170 billion ($170,000,000,000) just to survive how could anyone in the company deserve a bonus? This question is made several levels of order more intense when the company in question was at the heart of the current financial crisis that has so damaged the global economy.
The above is far more easy to comprehend than issues of mortgage based derivatives and esoteric financial instruments that have been sliced and diced to the point that no one knows what they are worth and how such items led to the economic situation we currently find ourselves in.
He reiterates this point in response to Steve Verdon’s post on quantitative easing in which he notes that while “everyone [is] getting all worked up over a trivial issue, the AIG bonuses, what has gone mostly un-noticed by the chattering class, is that the Fed is going to implement quantitative easing.” One is easy to understand — and thus get outraged over — and the other makes most of our eyes glaze over.
Photo by Flickr user johnnyalive under Creative Commons license.