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Stories You Can Ignore: Breathless Updates on Debt Ceiling Talks

The Washington Post reports that  the “grand bargain” option of $4 trillion in cuts over ten years is reviving as an option.

Big deal.

The brouhaha over the coming debt meltdown has obsessed the media for the last two weeks. Some of the most talented journalists in the country are trying to get the latest rumors and back stories about every step of the negotiations.

My advice to anybody who tries to read the news seriously: don’t chase this ball.  The moment by moment twists and turns in this story might matter to day traders and other financial market players for whom rumors are news, but for the rest of us, no.

You have limited time to follow the news and you need to use that time well.  Following every twist and turn of a story like this gets you nowhere.  Scan the headlines, keep up with the main thrust of affairs — but don’t be fooled into thinking those screaming headlines mean anything real.  Five minutes after the final vote on this thing, all the stories and scoops and inside details that everybody thought were so crucial will disappear and never be thought of again.

This isn’t signal; it’s noise.

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