Journalists, goes a criticism almost as old as the printing press, always focus on the negative. But for the past couple of years it's been hard to do anything but deliver downbeat analyses of the financial markets, the housing sector, and the economy. We're not planning suddenly to become Pollyannas, but as signs of stabilization crop up, we want to cut through the clutter of conflicting indicators and be open to evidence of a glass half full. That's why we have launched The Case for Optimism, a site on BusinessWeek.com. Click on the Optimism module on our home page, and you will be taken to a space populated with essays by outside voices, our proprietary BusinessWeek Optimism Index, and a blog we hope will spark a spirited discussion of whether a recovery is really emerging. In the weeks ahead, The Case for Optimism site will become increasingly robust as we add articles and build out the Optimism Index with frequent polling by YouGov and R.T. Strategies. Then in mid-August we will distill three months of thinking and debating, add contributions from business leaders, and create a Special Issue of the magazine that addresses crucial questions for the post-recession economy. What will the financial industry look like after the storm? Which industries will lead a rebound? How soon will housing snap back? And we will spotlight companies that used the slump to rethink their business models. It is my sincere hope that The Case for Optimism will help you take smart steps toward a new beginning.
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