The Market Outlook Depends On Which Business Channel You Watch

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Depending on the business TV station that runs in the background, one has every option these days.
Watching CNBC's talk masters and mistresses - I only consider Rick Santelli a knowledgeable reporter in the good old sense whereas others seem to take daily lessons on the NYSE trading floor, mouth wide open - viewers could believe that the conventional investing world has every reason to uncork the bubbly. Zero interest rate policy props up stock markets after all, isn't it?
Inserting manipulative short term charts that show a 50% rise in stock XYZ after it fell some 80% before with show masters jumping at their studio desk and begging for more bullish answers from their interview victims is not real journalism. Discussions among those on duty at the desk come close to the absolutely unreal sort of "reality" TV like Big Brother, the fodder for illiterate couch potatoes. CNBC scores at least one point with me: I wish we had such hair stylists in my laid back hometown Vienna (the one in Austria!)
A switch to Bloomberg TV (which recently relieved German viewers by cancelling its German broadcast for good as this was the best cure for even the most severe insomnia sufferers) paints a rather different picture. I was thrilled to tune into an hour long talk with former Fed chairman and current White House economic adviser Paul Volcker during the wee-hours last weekend that was an antidote to the music video clip-like babble on CNBC. I cannot remember a CNBC "interview" with more than 10 questions and I will forever remember how Ron Paul convinced Jim Cramer that abolishing the Fed would be a good idea in 2008.
The difference in style may have something to do with those in control of the two stations. 
CNBC is owned by General Electric, a company to which military sales and therefore ongoing wars are most relevant to its bottom line. As these wars are sucking up trillions of FRNs (Federal Reserve Notes) the big parent has a vital interest in displaying a world where nothing substantial ever changes. Ironically GE's homepage currently says, "As a ratings winner and revenue earner, NBC Universals cable division is driving fast growth and revenues for GE."
That may apply to their American business. But ads on the European satellite division interrupt the program only once in a while, filling the US ad breaks with meaningless "worst of" and "best of" stock rankings.
Mega-billionaire (what's a measly billion in these trillion times) Michael Bloomberg certainly resides to the far political right of me (that may change if I become a trillionaire before hyper inflation sets in) and I also object to cities that obviously spend more on machine-gun toting police warriors than on social services, which might reduce crime more effectively.
But as a true selfmade man Bloomberg is allowed some mistakes.
Small discourse: Attribute it to my stiff G&T I will drink later tonight if I accuse Bloomberg saving in the wrong place. I was turned down in the last millennium to start up his German TV channel due to the fact that I was not willing to accept less money for at least double the workload than I was used to at the formerly leading news agency Reuters, now Thomson-Reuters, in Frankfurt. Free food at the desk is not exactly what I call a fringe benefit when having been used to Reuters' lavishness (club class home flights,  muscle rental cars and free housing.) Maybe that's one reason why Reuters vanished. End of discourse.
Only Bad News Are Real News
While I was only lazy writing, but not reading (my visited webpage counter stands at 12,000) for the last 6 weeks, taking up my routine to only blog about decisions and not all the hot air uttered by Tim Geithner and his Wall Street friends, I subjectively realize that Bloomberg TV is the better background for investors. It does not obstruct my focus while I perma-browse the web for early indications of market changes that have yet to come. But it informs me on all important breaking news, saving me a bundle of expenses for wire services. CNBC, in comparison, maybe better suited for the low-life of a day trader who has to find a reason for penny-moves.
Allright, having grown up with the dogma that only bad news are real news I end my unpaid praise of Bloomberg TV. But guys, please keep it at this level or be warned that I might feel tempted to ram another blog post up your a.. if you change for the worse.

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