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October 10, 2008

Some Perspective

Doom And Gloom

This image above, leading Wednesday’s NYT “Pictures of the Day” slide show, offers two emotionally-stricken stock brokers in Frankfurt.

With a widespread clamp down on credit, a stock market virtually meeting the definition of a “crash,”  and layoffs imminent, these are not the happiest times here at home.  Given the case (and especially if things really go south), it’s important to keep in mind that visual media is typically looking for the longest face.

(image: Michael Probst/Associated Press)

  • black dog barking

    So sad. The problem is not the *value* of the stocks and bonds, it is the *perception* of value. It wasn’t that long ago that a steaming pile of sub prime mortgages was widely viewed as AAA — safe as US Treasuries. Ah, good times. Currently the market perception is that next week the stocks and bonds will be worth less than they are now so why buy? And when next week rolls around the stocks and bonds will truly be worth less because no one wanted to buy them. Rinse & repeat. Etc. Ad infinitum.
    It would seem that the all-knowing all-powerful wisdom of markets ain’t so good at responding to deflationary spirals. So our pictured purveyors of paper value have every reason to be sad.

  • Nina Berman

    The wide angle lens shot in extreme close-up distorts the view like a fish eye lens creating a space where the laws of geometry are out of whack (see how the lines are curved in the background) suggesting that the world inside the trading floor, and by implication, the entire global financial sector, is fundamentally warped. Adding to that are the two mouses, left unattended because their operators (the two brokers pictured) no longer know how to communicate. A very nice photo and quite different from standard shots of traders and brokers wiping their brows.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    I could not agree more. This is a superb composition, with so many classic lines, curves, angles and triangles that the wonder of its creation almost overwhelms its message as pure document. That Ms. Berman, herself an award-winning professional sees in this image a note-worthiness to make personal comment is high praise. To her (and Michael’s) words i would add that in addition to the image’s remarkable perspective, there is in it this notion, this aspect of reflection ~ that what we see on that back wall also reveals to us that which is in the minds of these people, hovering above their heads as if in some super-imposed ‘thought balloon’. And finally, realizing how CLOSE to his subjects the image maker must have been to employ such a wide-angle lens ~ to have done so, without acknowledgement, reaction apparent by anyone within FRAME: only adds to the emotional gravitas these people ~ and ultimately we, ourselves ~ experience.

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