Normalcy bias is a rather horrifying thing. It is so frightening because it is so final; much like death, there is simply no coming back. Rather than a physical death, normalcy bias represents the death of reason and simple observation. It is the death of the mind and cognitive thought instead of the death of the body.
Ever since the derivatives collapse of 2008 the public has been regaled with wondrous stories of recovery in the mainstream to the point that such fantasies have become the “new normal”. These are grand tales of the daring heroics of central bankers who “saved us all” from impending collapse through gutsy monetary policy and no-holds-barred stimulus measures.
Alternative economists have not been so easy to dazzle. Most of us found that the recovery narrative lacked a certain something; namely hard data that took the wider picture into account. It seemed as though the mainstream media (MSM) as well as the establishment was attempting to cherry-pick certain numbers out of context while demanding we ignore all other factors as “unimportant.”
Mainstream economists have done absolutely nothing in the way of investigative journalism and have instead joined a chorus cheerleading for the false narrative, singing a siren’s song of misinterpreted statistics and outright lies drawing the masses ever nearer to the deadly shoals of financial crisis.
Why do they do this? Are they part of some vast conspiracy to mislead the public?
Not necessarily. While central banks and governments have indeed been proven time and again to collude in efforts to cover up financial dangers, most economists in the media are simply greedy and ignorant. You have to remember, they have a considerable stake in this game.
Many mainstream economists tend to have sizable investment portfolios and they base their careers partly on the successes they garner in the annual profits they accumulate playing the equities roulette. They also have invested so much of their public image into their pro-market and recovery arguments that there is no going back. That is to say, they have a personal interest in using their positions in the media to engineer positive market psychology (if they are able) so that their portfolios remain profitable. Not to mention, their professional image is at stake if they ever acknowledge that they were wrong for so long about the underlying health of the real economy.
This atmosphere of deluded self interest also generates a cult-like collectivist attitude. There is a lot of mutual back scratching and mutual ego stroking in the MSM; a kind of inbred conduit of regurgitated arguments and unoriginal talking points, and people in the club rarely step out of line because they not only hurt their own investment future and career, they also hurt everyone in their professional circles. Meaning, no more cocktail party invitations to the Forbes rumpus room…
This is not to say that I am excusing their self interested lies and disinformation. I think that many of these people should be tarred and feathered in a public square for attempting to dissuade the public from preparing in a practical way for severe economic instability. I do not think they see themselves as being responsible to the people who actually take their nonsense seriously and their attitude needs adjustment. I am only explaining how it is possible for an entire profession of supposed “experts” to be so wrong so often. Mainstream financial analysts WANT to believe their own lies as much as many in the public want to believe them.
Like I said, normalcy bias is a rather horrifying thing.