After this morning’s WSJ post, I was contacted by several different people from WSJ/Dow Jones I have known over the years.

Each of them are people I have read for a long time, and each covers different parts of markets and investing. All 3 of them told me that they have never experienced anyone “messing around” with what they write or telling them what to say.

In fact, they each pointed to other stories in today’s WSJ that did a much better job covering the factors impacting the markets than that front page story did.

Consider these articles:

China, Not Obama, Sinks Stocks (Marketbeat)

Dow’s Two-Day Hit: 335.55 Points (WSJ)
Stocks Pummeled From Two Sides, Both the Obama Bank Proposal and China’s Pressure

The WSJ Jumped The Shark? No It Hasn’t (DJMT)

I will state I think that these are significant, and contradict the front page DC article.

In considering this, there are two other factors that are noteworthy:

First, the headlines across the paper have become screamingly sensationalistic generally. Not only are the heds more about marketing than reporting, they very often belie what is actually discussed in the article. Indeed, they occasionally contradict it.

This isn’t a politicization of the Journal, it is more accurately described as a tabloidization of it. So its not bias that seems to be impacting the other sections of the paper, its marketing.

Now combine this headline stuff with the new political slant of the Washington DC coverage. Then add in the major changes (for the worse, IMHO) of how the front page has changed — the offbeat, esoteric (A-hed) articles, the long form magazine style stories — all have been replaced with much more prominent DC coverage, where the greatest political shift has taken place.

I am willing to give the Marketplace and Money & Investing sections the benefit of the doubt. But it seems weird to me to say that I am now sequestering the OpEd pages AND much of the A section.  Once the political motivations of the owner leave the Opinion pages, it is a slippery slope down towards yellow journalism.

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

56 Responses to “The WSJ Responds”

  1. bondjel says:

    What does “DC” stand for as in “The new DC coverage” and “much more prominent DC coverage”????

  2. flipspiceland says:

    I suspended my subscription for a month and didn’t bother to re-start it. Even before Rupert took it over it was ever a dollar short in providing insightful information.

    The ‘tabloidization’ of it is right on the nose.

  3. djackson says:

    I am confused. You are complaining about the WSJ headline attributing the stock market decline to Obama’s proposal for new bank regulation. Yet in the Think Tank this was published?

    “Until Mr. Obama took to the podium, the indexes were somewhat mixed, with the NASDAQ actually rising due to some positive earnings results in the tech sector. I will save my thoughts about the wisdom of the President’s approach for another day, but market participants expressed their opinions on this day with sell orders.

    An uneven set of economic releases (jobless claims and the Philly Fed survey were disappointing; leading indicators were strong) was quickly forgotten as the downside pressure mounted. The major averages dropped between 1.5% and 2% following Mr. Obama’s press conference. Though commodity-related stocks finished the day in worse shape, the vicious early selling in the largest financial names almost made it seem as if all the prop desks had in fact been shut down, that many bank-owned hedge funds and private equity shops were busy tacking “For Sale” signs to their doors, and that Glass-Steagall had once again become the law of the land.”

    Uh, consistency? I enjoy this site, but come on.

    ~~~

    BR
    : That is Jim Bianco’s round up of media coverage — if you look at the entire post, he cites 10 different sources and excerpts them all.

    It is is not an endorsement of those sentiments, it is an overview. (Did I really need to explain that, or are you just being difficult?)

  4. the bohemian says:

    Barry-

    all good points- but Murdoch’s goal is to sell papers- period-

    if he sells more papers- and his ad revenue goes up- he’s successful- if not- he fails-

    doesn’t matter that the quality and bias free content has gone out the window- my guess- he is willing to lose that crowd

  5. Transor Z says:

    Barry, in response to putting the burden on the readership to sequester info in the A section.

    Isn’t it a little like defending the box of Chicken McNuggets because only one of the six pieces was a fried chicken head — and there was nothing wrong with the fries or the soda?

    At some point as a consumer you’re “allowed” to do a gross sort and say tainted/not tainted. You’re the consumer.

  6. bondjel says:

    OK, I read the three articles that BR cited as possibly being more balanced and I think only the one from Ari Weinberg’s blog is really more balanced and I suspect as a blog post its likely to be seen by fewer people. The ES Browning article places far more emphasis on Obama sending the market down and most of that is up front in the article where its most likely to be read. The Paul Vigna response to Barry is clearly highly defensive and, I think, changes the emphasis from Obama caused the market to decline to Obama’s announcement was clearly the main American news of the day. BR wasn’t complaining about whether or not the Obama announcement was big news he was rightly complaining about a front page story opining that Obama’s announcement caused the stock market to decline.

  7. Transor Z says:

    The McDonald’s manager says, “Come on, pal! You can eat around it. It’s still good.”

  8. dead hobo says:

    1) These reporters don’t assign themselves. Nobody may tell them what to write, but someone tells them what to write about.

    2) In section 1, non business coverage appears (or at least appeared since I haven’t read it since my sub petered out last year) to transcend business coverage. I learned about HFT, flash trading, ZIRP and other market lubrications, prop trading desks, commodity price pumps, floating tanker farms, and lots more NOT from the WSJ. Maybe some of the topics were mentioned peripherally in Sec 2 & Sec 3. But nothing of significance, either to explore, confirm, or refute any of these topics. Its puff, filler, and political screed now, with a little business material that is available elsewhere for free.

    3) The wine club advertisements: BTW, the Wine of the Month Club rocks. Its the original that the WSJ is trying to imitate. It’s in California and massive good. Top quality and low price. The email specials are off the charts.

  9. On the plus side Barry speaks and the WSJ scrambles to appease or at least counterpoint. Remind me to never get on your bad side :)

    You’re a serious contender in the belly flop competition that is the media these days ;)

  10. Renting in Mass says:

    “All 3 of them told me that they have never experienced anyone “messing around” with what they write or telling them what to say.”

    Sleep with the dogs and you get fleas. I can’t be bothered to try and suss out which bits of the WSJ aren’t biased. It’s too bad for them that they’re tainted by their owner, but that’s the breaks. They should take their talents elsewhere if they don’t like it.

  11. MikeNYC says:

    Come on Barry, stop playing the naif.

    Show me the Murdoch media property that does not just slide down the path to, but in fact revels in the tabloid cesspool? How can you, a sophisticated media consumer, be remotely surprised?

    I suppose you were surprised that Tshuva trashed the Plaza, too?

  12. Mannwich says:

    @Renting: Exactly. I love how they quickly scurried to respond to BR. Now THAT’S influence. Gotta love it, BR.

    Nobody forces any of these folks to work for such a company. Go work somewhere else.

  13. DM RTA says:

    it’s wonderfully ironic that the paper that wanted to yank its listings from Google just a few weeks back is displaying how it is completely wrapped up in the trend around search optimization. I don’t think I am going too far out on a limb when I suggest it is a true sign of the times for content producers and people in general.

  14. GeorgeBurnsWasRight says:

    One of the mysteries of journalism I’ve never understood is why headlines are always written by someone else who by definition should have less understanding of the article than the reporter who wrote it.

    Anyone know why this is?

  15. Mannwich says:

    @George: Because they probably have a better understanding of what kinds of headlines “sell” than the writers of those articles.

  16. phb says:

    It is a shame to watch an old standard die a death like partisanship and posturing.

    BTW – when did CNBC turn into the Obama channel? He speaks, they broadcast like it was CSPAN or something. Sigh.

    What’s next to go…my image of Warren Buffett as the “world’s best investor”???

  17. Mannwich says:

    @phb: If you saw ‘ol crazy, book-talkin’, stumblin’, stutterin’ Warren on Bloomie the other day, that illusion would have also died by now.

  18. W_Nelson says:

    This started when Murdoch bought the paper — and shit rolls downhill. I knew there was something up when they interviewed the guitarist Slash over the new Guitar Hero — why should we be surprised?

    This is _not_ the paper it was 10 years ago.

  19. phb says:

    @Mannwich – But when Becky Quick looks at him all googly-eyed and serves up the softballs so gently, he steps up his game so nicely.

  20. Winston Munn says:

    Rupert Murdoch is the new P.T. Barnum. No one is forced to read trash.

  21. Mannwich says:

    @phb: Maybe that was it. He needed his gal pal Becky Slow to lob softies at him.

  22. Chris Rich says:

    Murdoch’s spat with Google was funny. If I could find a way to clear ALL Newscorp content out of my news and financial news aggregator, I’d be so thrilled. I’d consider paying as the thing gets loaded with Newscorp droo.

  23. EricieVDH says:

    (First, the headlines across the paper have become screamingly sensationalistic. Not only are the heds more about marketing than reporting, they very often belie what is actually discussed in the article. Indeed, they occasionally contradict it.)

    I dont think this really noteworthy, I guess this happens around the financial world en sometimes offers great contrarian ideas according to me. Beloved Bloomberg is no different than the WSJ.

    Bloomberg’s human-generated news stories are only slightly warmer to the touch. Many are written to an old template that requires lede sentences to contain a number. Words such as “but” (too abrupt), “flat” (markets aren’t curved, how can they be flat?), and “uncertainty” (markets move for a reason) are subject to banishment by editors. Words that signify something demonstrable, such as “biggest” or “first,” are preferred. Even if Bloomberg News reporters desired to produce well-crafted prose, how often would they have the time? In this competitive beat, five seconds separates an “atta-boy” scoop from the shame of getting beat by Reuters. Theirs is the ultimate news-you-can-use for the most demanding and wealthy readers in the world.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2150961/

    ps. Been reading the BigPicture for quite some time, loving the website and the book Bailout Nation…

  24. the bohemian says:

    “No one is forced to read trash.”

    Winston- no doubt- but for the long time readers- hard thing to let go of I would imagine-

    case in point- I use to read Outside magazine for years and years- back when it was stapled in middle- but it kind of transformed into a “outdoor chic, joe cool, techno gadget” kind of thing and I stopped reading it-

    20 years of devotion out the window

  25. MRegan says:

    The WSJ has always been a vehicle for propaganda and it always will be. It’s kind of like Coke-New Coke-Classic. Take out the cane sugar put in the corn syrup, voila! Still gives you diabetes. A group comes to the defense of their paymaster, wow!

  26. foxmuldar says:

    In fairness to the WSJ, they are like many newspapers trying to survive. I agree that headlines can move the direction of the market but then headlines can also sell papers. WSJ is still miles ahead in its accurate and unbiased reporting as compared to the ilk of the New York Times. It wasn’t long ago when I read that there was talk about bailing out the newspapers. What that really was ment for was a bailout of the New York Times and other Liberal media outlets. I’m betting that the WSJ is in better financial condition then the Times. The internet has taken over as the main source of news. Those that give a fair and balanced and also accurate view of the news, will be the ones that survive. JMOP

  27. foxmuldar says:

    Is it ok for the WSJ to post in their Monday edition that the market dropped another 100 plus points on Friday making the total pullback for the week at over 400 points. It sure does look like a corrections taking place today. Still not much mention of those weak employment numbers that the government tried to disquise by saying the numbers were higher do the the MLJ holiday. Same crap was said over the Christmas holidays when the numbers were released. Government lies and Obama’s government is tops when it comes to lying.

  28. Mannwich says:

    foxmuldar: Well, “W” had 8 full years and lied about a lot of things, but who’s counting? They ALL lie. That’s the bottom line.

  29. farmera1 says:

    As a loyal reader for years, WSJ has jumped the shark as far as I’m concerned.

    As an aside Alwaleed who is the second largest stock holder (some 7%) has approved James Murdock as a replacement for Rupert. Go figure.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-01-21/alwaleed-backs-james-murdoch-as-news-corp-successor-correct-.html

    Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) — Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire Saudi investor, said his choice to succeed Rupert Murdoch at the head of News Corp. is son James Murdoch.

    “If he doesn’t appoint him, I’ll be the first one to nominate him to be the successor of Mr. Rupert Murdoch,” Alwaleed said in an interview on the Charlie Rose program, to be shown tonight. Alwaleed held a 7 percent stake in News Corp. as of an Aug. 20 proxy statement.

  30. dave says:

    I agree with you Barry. I have been reading the WSJ since 1979 and it does seem to me that the front page has lost its objectivity.

  31. DeDude says:

    The funny thing is how what Obama is doing to our “poor” banks seem to have gotten the European stock markets to sink just as much as ours. Shouldn’t they be going up as all our financial business flee the oppressive US conditions? Or are they falling because the europeans are saying oooh sh!t now we will be getting those american banksters coming over here!

  32. me says:

    I agree with BR and respectfully disagree with his friends at the WSJ. I have never seen some many, “liberal” “death panels” and faux nuze, tabloid comments in supposed news stories. And several articles are clearly hacked by an editor. If I am wrong, OK, but I know what I like and it isn’t Murdocks’s opinion on the news pages. For example, how is including Rush Limbaugh (slobbering media coverage) news in a Ted Kennedy obituary?

    Murdock has made money and a lot of people watch Fox News and believe it, except they poll the worst when it comes to facts, so he thinks he knows what he is doing, but he isn’t selling it to me. If he sells more papers, good for him, if not, a soiled reputation is difficult to win back, if ever.

    I lived with the tabloid stuff but now I cannot invest with misinformation. Pretty soon he will want to do something in China so he will not report the truth to further his interests. By not buying I am furthering my interests.

  33. DeDude says:

    No surprise that those who watch Fox are the worst at getting the facts. They do not care about facts. They will disregard the facts that challenge their opinions, and make up “facts” that support their opinion. This is the direction WSJ is sliding too, and we shall see how many in the financial community will accept that. My guess is that they will lose a lot of readers. Dumb rednecks do not read financial news, and those who read financial news will not tolerate tampering with the facts or being treated like idiots. So I think the business/propaganda model that worked so well with Fox will sink the WSJ.

  34. gc says:

    Was there ever a credible business plan by which Rupert Murdoch was going to get 20% return on his investment of $5B when he purchased the WSJ? It makes no difference in how he lives whether he is worth $10B or $15B on paper. He and his ilk have more to gain if the great many people are ignorant, and it is a feature, not a flaw, that he is ruining an institution known to provide detailed factual information to the public. Until I am persuaded that there was a real plan to make money on the purchase, I am going to continue to believe that he bought it for the purpose of running it into the ground.

  35. Pat G. says:

    I don’t believe that the recent decline in the stock markets are about Obama or China specifically. Partly perhaps, but the bigger picture is that worldwide economic reality ain’t pretty and that’s starting to set in.

  36. dmlopr says:

    The WSJ stands out because for a long time, it was a great standard but I think my local papers have slid down the same shiddy slope. They keep calling me to subscribe but I tell them it’s not worth a dime a day. I bet the high school could do better. :)
    Keep up the good work, BR.

  37. TakBak04 says:

    BR: Well it’s good they took your post to Heart and, indeed, DID try to issue a rebuttal and you then went back with a reply to what they countered:

    QUOTE:

    “This isn’t a politicization of the Journal, it is more accurately described as a tabloidization of it. So its not bias that seems to be impacting the other sections of the paper, its marketing.”

    Now combine this headline stuff with the new political slant of the Washington DC coverage. Then add in the major changes (for the worse, IMHO) of how the front page has changed — the offbeat, esoteric (A-hed) articles, the long form magazine style stories — all have been replaced with much more prominent DC coverage, where the greatest political shift has taken place.

    —–

    It’s hard to know where it all goes…but it marches to the Right Conservative Views. I don’t know how this is different from their ever long progression to go more rightward along with Murdoch’s view.

    The REAL QUESTION IS: “How did someone like Ruppert Murdoch manage to worm himself into an American MEDIA EMPIRE in the FIRST PLACE?

    How are our rules so lax here that we can become controlled by an Australian Businessman in the First Place? What about a Chinese Businessman, Russian Businessman (being a “Cold War Baby” that one gives me shivers) or a Korean Businessman controlling American Media Content!

    OH WAIT….!!!! Isn’t the Reverend Moon of the Washington Times..(that’s been around FOREVER) a Korean BUSINESSMAN! GASP….CHOKE..cough….cough…gasp…turning blue in me head…

    So…What’s it all about? Either we NATIONALIZE our MEDIA or we do FREE MARKET and allow anyone from any Country who is Capitalized Enough to BUY UP OUR MEDIA here in AMERICA to have FREE REIGN?

    It’s either “FREE MARKET” Capitalism or we become Nationalists..and the MARKETS DO NOT LIKE THAT!

    So which is it? :shrug:

  38. philipat says:

    Not really surprising. Even Fox News claims to be “Fair and Balanced” (WTF?) Which it is, assuming you are at the fascist end of the right wing. Hey, maybe WSJ could use the same slogan?

    Remeber also, Murdoch (aka “The dirty digger”) is also famous for his remark that “Nobody ever lost money by under-estimating the intelligence of the public”. So maybe it’s just that after all!!!!

  39. TakBak04 says:

    @DeDude Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    No surprise that those who watch Fox are the worst at getting the facts. They do not care about facts. They will disregard the facts that challenge their opinions, and make up “facts” that support their opinion. This is the direction WSJ is sliding too, and we shall see how many in the financial community will accept that. My guess is that they will lose a lot of readers. Dumb rednecks do not read financial news, and those who read financial news will not tolerate tampering with the facts or being treated like idiots. So I think the business/propaganda model that worked so well with Fox will sink the WSJ.

    ————-

    People trying to exist and only finding “Community” in their Christian Lives out there in “Hills & Hollars” of America (the forgotten…and struggling) are able to get Faux News and Preachers on the Radio 24/7 and even if they can afford cable…most of it in Rural America is Religious TV/Radio. BIG MONEY THERE. They didn’t seem to be folks who got caught up in Larry Summer’s devastation of the Harvard Endowment or what went on wit Yale Endowment to a lesser degree.

    These are folks who’ve been LEFT OUT OF SOCIETY…. Mill Closings…Real Estate Implosion and the rest of the jobs those who stayed in their communties because of famiy ties and whatever are faced with. Remember there was alot of Tobacco Farming along with Textile and Furniture Building that has left the South and those people along with Midwestern Manufacturing that were LEFT BEHIND when the jobs moved to Mexico Border, then China and now Indonesia and Egypt and Jordan (Just check your clothing labels for Bush I, II and Clinton America to follow all the origins of products we buy from Walmart on low end up to the High End for Shoes and Goods from the Better Department Stores and Brands all across the USA from Manhattan to Orange County, CA to Boca Raton, Fla and high end places with stores who cater to Greenwich, Ct. to High End Long Island and Manhattan, NY!

    America is always focused on DC and NYC…CA Entreprenuers…Silicon Valley and Texas War Machine.

    The rest of America Suffers from GLOBILIZATION. WSJ and Murdoch and the rest…do tap into that and exploit what they see as the “Populist/Religous Right…who look for answers their Churches don’t give them when they can get a break….but it’s the CHURCHES/MURDOCH and MOON and Corporate Wall St. and Corrupt Politicians who RULE.

    That they don’t see this is because their lives are not what the Bankers on Wall St. Live….and indeed what most of those who post on TBP and other Financial Blogs lives are all about.

    Just saying…The BIG PICTURE…is bigger than we know.

  40. Bob A says:

    WSJ = Just another branch of Fox News and has been since the day dickheadfromcraphole took it over.

    How could anyone possibly think it was gonna happen any differently?

  41. Doc at the Radar Station says:

    “This isn’t a politicization of the Journal, it is more accurately described as a tabloidization of it.”

    I think there has been a “tabloidization” of American culture in nearly all its aspects that has occurred over the last 15 years or so. You could apply the concept of “bubbles” to culture as well and hit the nail on the head. Everything seems to be a caricature of its previous incarnation a generation ago-a virtual, fake, cartoon, ersatz, substitute.

  42. beaufou says:

    Real journalism is supposed to be food for thoughts, they can shove their personal opinions up their arses as far as I’m concerned.
    But then again, why should the papers be any different than politics? for the highest bidder.

  43. polizeros says:

    Barron’s is still apparently untouched and same as it ever was.

  44. August says:

    I voted against the WSJ by not renewing my subscription. The WSJ has turned into another platform for the liberal views of the new owner. What a shame.

  45. DonF says:

    Dow Jones acquired my old firm years ago, and I actually worked for Dow Jones for two years, which was probably two years too long. I completely agree with Barry here, and I think the slope started when the paper shrunk and format changed. The other issue as I see it is that DJ is a very “DJ-centric” firm.

    Easy to see why–they built financial journalism in the US for over 100 years, but from what I could tell, this has led to a very dangerous idea that they can do whatever they want and that they dictate what financial reporting is to their readers. Obviously, from these posts, and from others I know, this slope they started has caused them to lose subscribers (I am one). I think they have lost the core group that used to depend on what the WSJ used to stand for.

  46. DeDude says:

    They wouldn’t be dumb enough to actually twist arms. It’s a lot more subtle, but no less effective. It’s who you hire and promote. It’s what headline you add to the story. It’s what story gets to be at the most visible spot or on the front page. It’s who get the nice office and support.

  47. Minderbender says:

    This comment (shown below) in response to Paul Vigna’s retort over at Market Talk seems to strike a cord – it seems we all are getting on each other’s nerves these days. Signs of the times that are a-changin’ – both the reality and the changing context in which each of us attempts to discern the reality:

    http://markettalk.newswires-americas.com/?p=8047

    Jim Maul January 23, 2010
    Well said and accurate.

    Barry does do good work, but he clearly has an axe to grind, his own behind-the-headline bias that is obvious to all except apparently to himself. The result is that I enjoy reading him, but like him, I get irritated at his biased point of view, that is, exactly what he is accusuing the headline writers of at WSJ. It seems to be a case of blind projection on the part of Barry. Surprising he doesn’t recognize it in himself and becomes very touchy and defensive when anyone hints at it, even abusive with his own readers. A bit of a shame, because his data-based and objective news aggregation and comment is very, very good reading.

  48. DeDude says:

    TakBak04; I actually feel for those people you are talking about and I was the first in my family to get a college education so don’t think I haven’t meet or talked with them. They have it hard out there and our corporate masters have f@cked them bad. But then you also have to take a closer look at what they themselves have contributed with. Why are they holding on to their guns so hard that washington can’t even get assult riffles and armor piercing bullets banned? because the urban carnage is not a problem for their tribe, and they wouldn’t want to sacrifice the great fun and testosterone rush of seing a whisky gallon jug explode from a single bullet. Why have they allowed their religious masters to define the most important political issue to be the definition of when life begins? because they don’t think their own daughters will get pregnant, and if it happens anyway then their communities have solutions. When they are voting their republican scumbags into the senate and house they are doing so giving a big ugly middle finger to the poor urban communities and its problems. What they don’t seem to understand is that when they give their votes to anybody who can keep his pants on outside of the home, and know the 3 NO’s (taxes, abortions and gun control), they are also voting themselves into being slaves of the rich and their corporations. They were the ones pushing the democratic party so far to the right that a lot of the policies passed by democrats today could have been straight from the republican party platform 3 decades ago. Until they learn to understand that their tribe is their class not the rich bastards in their community who hired their pastor, they will continue to be sucked dry and be responsible for the fact that the rest of us are too.

  49. mknowles says:

    could “tabloidization” of the WSJ be a political strategy?…

  50. aupoker says:

    DeDude,

    I disagree with your premise entirely. To say that these people vote for Republican “scumbags” at the expense of the poor urban communities is absurd. Almost all of the poor urban communities that I know are strongly Democrat and have been for as long as I can remember. What have these Democrats done for these communities? Detroit has managed to avoid voting in any of these Republican “scumbags” for decades now and look at how that has turned out. I also don’t think that you describe the intersection of religion and politics (at least where I am) very well. Religious leaders are not in some sinister cabal with big money. Religious leaders care about their particular issues and they are their top priority. Whichever party aligns themselves with these interests will get their support. Seems kind of obvious to me. The bottom line to me is both parties have proven themselves to be capable of being corrupt and sucking up to the special interests of big biz and to suggest that small town folks are being fooled by religion any more so than union members or poor urban communities voting for democrats is silly.

  51. [...] The WSJ Responds (January 22, 2010)http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/01/wsj-another-view/ [...]

  52. [...] People thought Rupert Murdoch wouldn’t ruin the Wall Street Journal. People were wrong, although the author concedes the problem is a bit more nuanced than he first claimed. [...]

  53. DeDude says:

    aupoker; If the poor urban and the poor rural communities both voted for liberal democratic candidates, the policies of this country would be a lot different, and both of those types of poor communities would be doing a lot better. And the preachers chose “their particular issues” according to what serves the rich and also happens to give them the biggest donations from the few wealthy people in those rural communities. you don’t need a cabal when simple mechanisms can do.

  54. Greg0658 says:

    imo the GOP works the class warfare masterfully .. middle class is either management or union .. under class is not union and near minimum wage .. upper class needs wealth protection

    DeDude again imo folks refuse to see this masterfulness and the economy is out of balance and near civil war with globalization and world travel/shipping .. a sort of upper & middle class FU for not being slaves to us the masterminds

  55. DeDude says:

    Greg658; yes as long as they can keep that white underemployed carpenter in rural Arkansas thinking that he has more in common with the white Rotary Club member in his own community than with the Black underemployed guy in Boston, then they can keep it going. The sad part is that as they are sucking the lifeblood out of the under and middle class they are also destroying the economy. The economy will not grow unless those lower classes have money to spend, and the Bush scam of giving them credit rather than income was a one time false boost that simply made things worse. But I guess they don’t give a sh!t about the american economy, they have their foreign hideouts ready for when the whole thing finally collapse.

  56. Eric Davis says:

    Barry,

    I would suggest that it is behavioral. Some investors like to use a metric of “Investor Arrogance”, and for some reason, there is a point where people are “All in” and are driven by the Hubris of Knowing why stocks move.
    Suddenly there is a sell off, and they think they know why. that sentiment is all over right now. Tons of Journalists, who have been full of Shit for 10 years, suddenly are market wizards. Then the market has to hand them their hat, and send them packing. Saying to them “YOU DON”T KNOW Jack!” and if it’s my local paper or the WSJ or market watch or CNBC… they are all the same Lizard brains.