Could it be that we Americans are over reacting to the problems in the market? The market is very much a collaborative structure resting heavily on trust in the power of the vast American economic engine. What we are witnessing right now is the multichannel, speed-of-light, propagation of panic through the miracle of electronic communication. Wagging tongues and chin music from our esteemed news commentators as well as we, the blogging community, are only fanning the fire of panic. The USA is on the verge of freaking itself into an economic collapse.

We don’t need additional and more concise descriptions of the foolishness of the players. That’s been done. I participated in this too. Ascerbic wit and biting rhetoric needs to be turned to constructive service. The first thing that we can do as bloggers citizens is to tone down the negative buzz and quit getting each other twittered. It serves no purpose and is counter-productive.

Citizens need to start asking constructive questions and make suggestions to all who will listen on how best to minimize panic and the damage it will cause to our economy. We need to take some time from blogging to focus on communicating with our friends and colleagues and members of congress to keep a steady hand in the coming months.

We also need to start asking about the details of the financial mess. Of the “bad mortgages” we hear about, how many are actually in default vs how many are just in the category of subprime? Are the banks possibly exaggerating the size of the losses? If banks are over extended in their loans, what fraction of their subprime loans are still in good graces? In other words, exactly how is the bad debt manifested? What is the true magnitude of the thing? How many mechanisms are available to bring this thing to a survivable landing?

It is not unheard of for a company to write off as much loss as it can if it is inevitable that it must report losses. An MBA friend pointed this out to me. He worked for a semiconductor firm whose habit was to maximize the losses if it could not avoid reporting a loss. They’d throw some of the ugly furniture overboard with the trash to clean house. To what extent is this happening now?

Maybe we can raise the bar a bit by helping to ask better questions. The best questions get the best answers.