Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Does Summer Time Feed Rumors?

Hans Neleman | Getty Images

I've often wondered if the summer habits of our financial and political elites tend to exacerbate crises that occur over the summer.

Having so many powerful people "away" for so long has to have an effect on the markets. People in the Hamptons or even the Riviera are not completely unreachable. But they often lack the immediate contact with peers that they would have in office. This has to make rumor mongering worse, as you only hear bits and pieces of stories and lack a confirmation network to get to the bottom of things.

Let's say you get a voicemail from a friend asking if you know anything about a bank in Spain. You call back but get his voicemail.

Now you turn on the news, hoping to hear something useful. Then check some email. An hour or two has gone by. Your spouse is nagging about how you promised not to "spend the whole time" on your phone or laptop. Anxiety levels grow, informational levels shrink.

It takes longer for thoughts and theses to become organized, for truth to be confirmed, and falsehood refuted. Summer is the season of rumor.

That said, I don't think it would be a good idea to cancel summer vacations. Modern humans evolved for thousands of years in an agricultural society in which a bit of "vacation" was naturally built into our life cycle. Best to keep up those rhythms.

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