Zachary Karabell for The Daily Beast: More Mania in the Markets

The Daily Beast
By, Zachary Karabell
October 28, 2011

In yet another chapter in the manic saga of global markets, stocks soared Thursday around the world after European leaders announced yet another comprehensive plan to solve—once and for all?—the deepening sovereign-debt crisis. The outpouring of optimism was given an added boost by the release in the United States of third-quarter economic figures that indicated GDP increased 2.5 percent, and the icing on the proverbial cake was supplied by news that the Chinese government would potentially add some of its trillions in reserves to help shore up ailing European finances.

It seems like only a few days ago that we were feverishly murmuring about the impending implosion of the global system. That’s because it was only a few days ago. These swings from fear of complete collapse to fear of missing out on the upside have been the norm for the past months in market-land.

These manic-depressive tendencies are unsettling, enhanced by electronic trading and rapid translation of sentiment into buys and sells. They also are a theater, if not of the absurd, then certainly of their own peculiar tendency to view the world as if reflected in those fun-house mirrors. And the media—yes, that too plays a role in amplifying the emotion, with the relentless maw of endless outlets in need of attention-grabbing headlines. There is no market news that says, “Things aren’t so bad, but they’re not great either.”

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