Following Lou Rukeyser’s act

It’s 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on CNBC, and four chimes are sounded. A series of images follow: George Washington in front of the New York Stock Exchange, the Statue of Liberty, the bronze bull in perpetual snarl at the tip of Manhattan. A few remote-control clicks away, four eerily similar chimes can be heard at the same time on PBS, ushering in a different flurry of stock footage. These images are less “top-down”: businessmen and businesswomen collaborating around a conference table and a spinning globe that morphs into the eye of a woman looking at her computer screen, as if to remind us of the hallucinatory effects of staring too long at stock charts. These two leading business programs — Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street (the one with George Washington), and Wall $treet Week with Fortune (the one with the spinning globe) are as interrelated as inflation and interest rates.