Our coverage is shaping up to be all about financials this week. A "deathwatch" of sorts.
On Monday ...
Market strategist David Kotok warned that a major financial outfit could fail soon. He named Merrill Lynch and Wachovia as leading candidates (boy, I bet they're loving him now, huh?).
Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross came out and said a thousand banks could fail before this credit crunch is over.
Morgan Stanley co-President Walid Chammah, who told a German newspaper that the financial crisis will probably not end until next year or even 2010 and that a lot of banks would fail along the way.
Then Tuesday ...
Ex-IMF economist Kenneth Rogoff added his voice to the "someone will fail" chorus, saying it would be a "whopper." (That kicked off another round of financial jitters in the markets).
And Goldman Sachs capped off the day with a big round of bank downgrades.
In amongst all this a big hedge fund filed for bankruptcy, worries about a Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bailout grew, and Lehman continued to scramble (and an analyst said Lehman will likely fail.
This type of coverage presents a challenge organizationally and philosophically.
Organization-wise, you have to keep it all simple for the reader to follow. Luckily, the Internet is a medium where you can use links to previous coverage instead of rehashing all of the "what happened before" stuff. Usually you do a "trunk" story ... an overview that uses links to "branch" out to the previous coverage. Hey, I just did that!
Philosophically, and on a more serious area for me, is the self-fulfilling prophecy aspect. With so many smart folks saying there has to be a big bank failure, well ... let's just say we journalist-types have to be careful. We have to cover the news, but not add to the hype.
Luckily there are some opportunities to balance to the coverage. The top dog of GE corporate , Jeff Immelt, said the company is going shopping in the financial services sector. A buyer in a distressed space is an optimistic sign of the market at work. And some market gurus, like Byron Wien of Pequot Capital, have some more moderate takes on the financial sector, saying it's not on the brink of collapse.
And here at CNBC, we also like to give readers some notion of what to do in response to all the gloom and doom. There's some links to that in the box. Hope we're meeting your needs.
You can follow the financial sector developments on our Web site here.