Human beings go through a number of stages when confronted by major change. As first described by Elisabeth Kübler Ross, the process starts with:
• Denial that any change is taking place
• Then anger at the implications of the change
• Bargaining to reduce its magnitude
• Depression as reality begins to be confronted
• Finally acceptance of what has happened.
John Authers notes perceptively in today’s Financial Times that Kübler Ross’ model is likely to be a good guide to the evolution of the financial crisis. He suggests that the world is now moving on from Denial, into the Anger stage. Some still deny we are facing a major downturn. But public anger over the bonus payments issue is now on the rise around the world.
Authers suggests that Bargaining will be the next stage, as players try to develop a solution to the crisis. Then we will go through a stage of Depression, at what has been lost, before reaching the Acceptance stage, and moving on. Moving through the Denial stage has taken almost 2 years. So the blog fears we may still have a long journey ahead.