The Prevalence Of Group Think in The Main Stream Financial Media

Today what we’ve come to know as “main stream financial media” has provided nothing more than a vehicle for the exponential rise of group-think. All at the suffering of critical thought. So much so this phenom is clearly visible when watching, listening, or reading many of today’s financial “reporters” as compared to how, or what, was reported, analyzed, and discussed just a few years ago.

In what seems like the blink of an eye most anything to do with financial insight whether it be the reporting of, as well as investigative analysis; has morphed into some version of a stylized regurgitation of Central banking dogma. (this also includes many of the so-called “experts” brought on to fortify the sermons)

I would like to say “as many of you have observed” however, by the look of the ratings for the these once “darlings” of Wall Street (i.e., such as CNBC™ and others) It’s clear – you’re not watching or reading either. And with good reason.

It would appear I’m one of the few remaining masochists willing to (endure) try and still find a pearl of wisdom. Somewhere! But alas, all I seem to get is more of the same trite rolled into a political view, backed, and washed down with some form of globalist propaganda that any intelligent person can lay waste too if – the interviewer would just stop talking over (or shouting) for one second and answer a simple rebuttal to their own words. Honestly.

We now have this weeks version for all to see (again, that is, if you’re one of the few still watching or reading) in no other venue than what at one time was unquestionably considered a “serious source for all business.” Bloomberg™.

Today that view has been falling steadily and quite possibly will fall even further (as well as faster) if the type of columns, views, and insights continue down the same path as the most recent article titled “Why Falling Prices Are Actually a Real Bad Thing” penned by Shobhana Chandra.

In this article the writer tries to make the argument on why falling prices are like the title states “a real bad thing.” But the true underlying financial premise and the reasoning’s why are more in-tune with central planning hypothetical dogma recited within some board or classroom; then haplessly applied to vagaries of financial theory. Rather, than a true understanding of how pricing works in the real world.

Listen, I understand how one might think “Well who are you to criticize? Where’s your financial sheepskin? Maybe you should concentrate more on your own grammar and punctuation skills before criticizing.” Yeah, yeah, I get that. (as if that really mattered) However, I know my skill level. I also work continuously to improve. I know where I’m lacking. But, (and it’s a very big but) where I’m not lacking is my understanding of the topic or points that need to be addressed. And what I don’t know I’m happy to say “Sorry, I don’t know.” Yet unlike otherswho not only won’t admit that. I will  also take the next step as to go find out and learn! This seems clinically (and critically) absent in today’s financial press.

Look: sure, I don’t have a degree. Heck, I didn’t even finish high school. (only a G.E.D.) Yet, I did graduate from the most revered school on the planet: The school of hard knocks.

What we’re seeing today are people with Ivy League degrees coming out of grad school saddled with burdensome debt, flocking to the financial centers of media knowing nothing more than a world or economy propped up by Keynesian based policies now commenting and arguing why “everything is awesome!” Anyone with half a brain willing to say “Well hold on…” is immediately scorned, shrugged off, and quite possibly branded and slated to appear before the inquisitor committee of the Central Banking church of Keynes.

Today financial media is more concerned with perfectly lit coiffed hair and leg shots for television, or click bait inspired headlines free of typos or grammatical errors for print. However, the understanding of a topic? Is absolutely abysmal. And it’s getting worse.

Rather than take my impression let me offer up someone else’s opinion that I believe has the actual gravitas to explain and point out the obvious. Former Director of the OMB – David A. Stockman.

In Stockman’s latest article he points out in detail most, if not all, of what’s wrong with financial media reporting today. It’s well worth the read and articulated far better than I could. Yet, this is far from the first in this steady decline of financial acumen exposed in the media as of late. There have been many however, like I said, the frequency in which they’re appearing is gaining.

Another example of the growing misunderstandings and financial acumen becoming more, and more blatant I personally wrote about back in September of last year when host Jackie DeAngelis on CNBC  unabashedly posed a rhetorical ambush styled question/statement to Wall Street veteran Bill Fleckenstein.

In a condescending snark laced tone the seemingly sister in arms inquisitor asked, “At what point are you willing to concede that you’ve misunderstood monetary policy?” This is what the financial reporting media seems to have now morphed into. And like I said it’s getting worse – not better.

Unless you tout the line of what is infused and enabled by current monetary policy, with all its shenanigans, monetizing of debt, stick save comments by voting or non-voting members any time the markets retrace less than a rounding error: You’re the one considered uninformed or uneducated. It’s down right pathetic in my book.

Thin you know about debt? “You know nothing!” as was explained in this diatribe by another CNBC veteran Steve Liesman reported via ZeroHedge™ back in June of 2014. If you’re left shaking your head take heart in the fact; you’re in good company with all the others that have done the same over these last few years – never to return.

We now have guests appearing across the spectrum touting their prowess for investing in the markets as if there’s anything more to it then knowing what a Central Banker will or won’t do in the coming days, weeks, or months.

Once again for example we leaped close to 80 points in the S&P 500™ from a stick save last Thursday as the index remained below the now “everything’s awesome” level (i.e. 2000) when once again Fed. official James Bullard was reported to comment, that the Fed. “could resume unconventional policy.” That comment backed with expectations that ECB President Mario Draghi would unleash his monetary bazooka pushed the markets once again towards the upper levels “never before seen in human history” highs.

This was indeed needed since another Central Bank e.g. The SNB just laid waste to billions of dollars in carry trades and more when it “unconventionally” unilaterally pulled the plug on the peg with the Euro. This is what “investing” has now become. Someone please tell me what “prowess” dictates expertise here other than knowing what a Central Banker will or won’t do? Along with being in the index of choice dictated by that bank as “the one to watch.”

With recent books touting all one needs to do is “think like a billionaire” as if that’s how one is going to navigate the current turmoil raising its head within the currency markets. I would suggest that you think again. And think hard.

© 2015 Mark St.Cyr