AIG Bailout, Stock Market Drop, Bank Closures, & Federal Reserve News – No Big Deal?

September 17, 2008

Lehman Brothers goes bankrupt, struggling Merrill Lynch is bought out by Bank of America, and AIG is bailed out by the US government – so who cares?

According to a tool from Google that displays the trends on what people are searching for online, the financial turmoil engulfing the US this week isn’t prompting that many people to seek out information about the issues. Monday night football, politics and fall TV premiers are coming in ahead of the financial woes.  The trends tool shows the top 100 hot search items; I pulled the applicable ones I saw for Monday & Tuesday, plus Wednesday morning, and listed them below.

As you can see, financial topics only compose a small portion of the searching trends. Based on these numbers it looks as though people have a lot of things on their mind other than the economy. I would have thought the top few would have been all about the financial markets but they weren’t.

September 17th

57) AIG bailout 

64) AIG ceo

66) Suze Orman

84) reserve fund

98) Morgan Stanley merger

September 16th

3) reserve primary fund

14) conservatorship

15) AIG bailout

42) AIG conservatorship

72) after hours trading

84) morgan stanley earnings

September 15th

10) AIG stock

32) Ken Lewis

47) stock market today

48) are we in a depression

54) stock market

62) cnbc live

68) ken lewis bank of america

80) lehman brothers bankruptcy

82) FDIC insurance limits

87) AIG life insurance

91) AIG annuity


I’m not sure if people are getting the coverage instead from the major news outlets or if they just aren’t that concerned.  I wonder if that suggests many consumers are out of touch with the economy and it’s effect on their lives; or if the tool’s just showing inconclusive data.

Whatever the reason, it’s probably a good thing the top 30 searches weren’t all about financial doom and gloom as that could indicate a run on the banks or even more financial meltdowns.  Let’s hope tomorrow there are no searches for any other major financial institutions.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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6 Responses to AIG Bailout, Stock Market Drop, Bank Closures, & Federal Reserve News – No Big Deal?

  • stock market tools

    We’ll be seeing the Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley searches shortly!

  • marci

    It pops up automatically in my email news alerts, so I don’t have to go searching for it. And I talked directly to my “money man” to get the low down on what I needed, or didn’t need, to be doing to ‘keep safe’… if such a thing is possible.

    Of course, when I looked at the top 100 list, I was amazed that I had NO clue who some of those top 20 people were…. probably cuz I DON’T have TV 🙂

  • Jennifer

    To be fair, the coverage is so widespread across the internet you don’t really have to search to find articles about what’s going on. I am interested that there doesn’t seem to be much “digging deeper” searching going on.


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