Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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On the Bailout and Branding

The other morning I was having a conversation about how I thought the bailout was essentially a marketing failure. All in favor of the bailout failed to help regular folks understand what it was all about, which created the backlash that in part caused the first house vote. What’s more, after the first vote the house did an abysmal job in explaining why they had voted the way they had or offering up another path and the market responded by dropping 700 points.

That same day, my mom sent me over this article which discusses the marketing of the bailout in another light: The name itself. “A bailout makes us all smaller for having participated in it,” the article suggests. “‘Bailout’ connotates failure and Americans hate failure – unless there is the promise of a second act where the hero finds redemption.”

All in all I think we can agree that it was poorly handled.

October 6, 2008