By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published June 17, 2009
Doom and gloom are in, optimism is out.
The fact that the stock market appears to have righted itself after the steep declines late last year seems out of step with the daily water-cooler talk about what is going to happen next. Fear about the future abounds, along with theories of how things could get worse. Behind these theories is the persistent (and perhaps correct) belief that there is another shoe to drop. Just as people start to get more comfortable, it is all going to come tumbling down again. While a few “doomsayers” were once the outliers among a widely optimistic populace, today there are millions of new pessimists talking up calamity and catastrophe as never before.
In just a few short years, we have gone from President Clinton’s oft-repeated “the best is yet to come” to fears that the “the worst is yet to come.” Hope reigned through most of 2008, but fear does in 2009.