We explore the idea that the financial sector can be a source of non-fundamental risk to the rest of the economy. We also consider whether policy can be used to reduce this risk—either by increasing the supply of publicly backed safe assets or by reducing the demand for safe assets.
How much attention do firms pay to macroeconomic news? Through a novel text-based measure, two facts emerge. First, attention is polarized. Most firms either never or always pay attention to economic conditions. Second, it is countercyclical. During recessions, more firms pay attention, and firms pay greater attention to macroeconomic news.