Thursday, March 01, 2007

Drudge swift boats the market

As the financial world continues to piece through the wreckage of Tuesday's 416 point stock free-fall, speculation upon what caused the crash is rampant. Fingers have been pointed towards poor housing numbers, a downward revision of fourth quarter domestic growth, the speculative bubble that is the Chinese stock market, and glitches in the software that is supposed to regulate such quick drops.

Many have also singled out a speech former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan made to a group of Hong Kong businessmen.

In the Sunday speech, Greenspan -- who during his long reign at the Fed could dramatically shake the market with verbal interjections, dramatic pauses, suspicious coughs and sudden eye movements -- mentioned the possibility of a recession in the United States. His comments were ignored, save one lightly read wire story, until Matt Drudge gave that solitary mention prominent space on his 20-million-hits-a-day links-based website, the Drudge Report.

"Greenspan warns of likely U.S. recession," read the link -- an oversimplification of the more balanced opinion Greenspan actually expressed. It wasn't long after the story appeared on Drudge that the Chinese stock market crashed -- losing nine percent of its value. The US market followed suit the next day.

Since then a sheepish Greenspan has gone out of his way to further temper his remarks about the "possibility" not "probability" of a US recession. Drudge, on the other hand, has done nothing but gloat about his new found influence and has been enthusiastically linking to any article that mentions it.

On his better days, Drudge, with a loyal readership spanning the halls of power and the houses of media, has been known to alter the American political landscape like he is playing with a train set in his basement. Does his new interest in market manipulation -- especially when backed with Greenspan watching -- pose a threat?


But if he did ever decide to go all out against the markets, it should be noted that a sudden rush of reports concerning student/teacher sexual relations would distract him and prove to be the kryptonite to any plans for world financial domination the wily news aggregator might harbor.

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