This week marks the start of the media “silly season”. It’s during the dog days of August, when so many of us are away on holiday, that the economic and political agenda tends to slow and newspapers and broadcasters become desperate for anything of interest to report.
With Parliament in recess, and business leaders at the beach, this is the time of year when grown-up journalism takes a back seat, making way for offbeat, bizarre news stories, the weirder the better, anything that will make a splash.
August 2014 won’t be like that. Its strikes me that this year the silly season is cancelled. We’re in for a singularly un-relaxed high summer on the news-front instead, an August of urgent headlines, political intrigue and financial angst.
For a start, global equity markets are on a knife-edge. Throughout 2014, Western share indices, fuelled by central bank “funny money”, have ratcheted up and up. Stock valuations are now historically high, despite weak corporate earnings and the failure of the large Western economies to stage a convincing recovery.