7.09.2009

less-bad

One of my coworkers took the time to point out to me today a USA Today headline Investors seek less-bad earnings: Evidence companies are turning around is goal.

There was a good debate on Meet the Press a few months ago about how much an alleged lack of good financial journalism contributed to our current malaise. A CNBC correspondent retorted, and I'm paraphrasing here, "we were doing good work -- whether or not anyone was listening is the real question".

I'd argue he was mostly correct. If you want to sit down with The Economist, Financial Times, or the WSJ then you can seek out good, detailed, and insightful analysis. In 2005 The Economist had a detailed analysis of savings where they practically qualified every paragraph with caveats about how things seemed to be in a "brave new world" of finance but there was little evidence of a great change. It turned out all the rules we thought we could break you couldn't, but that's another store.

By and large, though, I think a lot of the media covers finance poorly. And I'm confident that more people read USA Today than read the financial section of the Economist, so more people see the poor coverage than the good.

Another article in today's paper: "Junk bonds pay off in 1st half with 23% surge: They could generate more gains, or they could get trashed".