The year 2019 was record-breaking for the commercial real estate market in Poland in many respects: we recorded close to 150 transactions (compared to 100
Are business reporters uniquely unbiased among journalists as investors need the truth?
Business journalists are just as biased as the most egregious political commentators on MSNBC, CNN or the New York Times.
Business journalists are mostly coopted into sins of omission and segregation. Unfortunately they do as much harm if not more than their counterparts peddling political opinion as fact.
Political opinion does less harm than willful perversion of business and financial reporting, because it matters less than business and finance literacy.
That’s the short of it, for the long answer see below.
Most business have pretty tight non disclosure rules written into the employment contract. Banks are better at enforcing that than others, but if its the corporate numbers you want, the finance department will be pretty tight lipped about it.
There are also strict SEC rules about financial disclosure, which with the noticeable exception of Mr Musk, are generally followed to the letter. That means that made up numbers, are treated with the prejudice they deserve, especially if investors base their risk calculations on those. Management’s material representations are tightly structured around known accounting standards.
What most journalists usually write copy off of is the venerated, public relations polished Press Release.
A good journalist should know the difference between facts and spin, spit and shine.
Forward projections are just that, guesses. And they need to be called out for what they are.
Most journalists of course have an axe to grind and a political philosophy to uphold. Truth is a moral concept, and people raised without it, tend to view “true” as a synonym for anything that moves forward the progressive cause, regardless of fact or track history.
Business reporting is no exception, its the triumph of idealism over pragmatism.
A simple example is that Open Borders is “Good for America”. Morally it certainly is, but the fact of the matter is that the greater the surplus of workers, the lower the payroll of corporations and businesses.
Its certainly good for business, and that is the Consensus that business reporters stick to lest they lose their jobs. Business journalists don’t lie about the consequences of policy decisions, they simply omit to mention them. So its the traditional lie of omission not of commission.
There is a high concentration of media in the US. The consequence is that policy decisions are sold in the interest of the interested party.
The cable companies have a last mile monopoly on broadband. Madison Ave advertising agencies, have a lock on corporate advertising. And the news rooms are controlled by a very tight group of editors. All three answer to the same corporations.
Those corporations in turn build political consensus in Washington, and get the regulatory lock in they need to justify the investments needed to dominate their markets. Needless to say, no political operative aspiring to elected office can escape the media capture.
Journalists on say Bloomberg don’t lie about their convictions. They actually state what they believe to be true. The Progressive Globalist Governance Consensus has huge buy-in, especially among the Oligarch Class. So does the corresponding end of the equation, the Tax Free Transnational Corporatist movement. Those three groups move in symbiosis.
The regulatory environment is a result of those quid pro quo’s for, some level of regulatory lock in is necessary to maintain market dominance.
You can say its all one giant cabal based on a quid pro quo among participants, or you can make the case that they actually believe in the consensus with the fervor of religious conversion.
Since Clinton’s second term, news outlets have stoped entirely making the link between policy decisions and economic outcomes.
Clinton’s decision was that exporting the industrial base to China, would bring China into the world economy, and advance the democratic cause.
Bush 43’s August 2003 decision was that in a globalized One World Government and Policy Consensus based International Governance, “National Champions” would be the minimum viable Corporate Unit. That is a policy decision, based on not enforcing anti-trust and anti monopoly provisions under law.
I do not know of a single person older than forty that at one time did not entirely buy into that Clinton-Bush policy consensus. Anybody under forty, is fully captured by that paradigm consensus, and knows nothing else.
Which brings us to some observations:
If you are not reporting on the expected consequences of a policy decision, and you are not reporting on the evidence accumulated in the intervening years, you are either not doing your job, or you actually believe that dogma trumps facts.
In 2015 the Adult Employment Participation Rate (percentages of the adult population gainfully employed) was below 58% (56% if you accept that there are currently 20m+ illegal immigrants). The business journos instead kept peddling an “official unemployment rate” of 5.3%.
They are not lying, those are the numbers the commerce department puts out. Yet the US Department of Labor also puts numbers, namely the real ones.
The point here is that there is a wide consensus that needs to be maintained at all costs, namely that “politics” has nothing to do with “business” and certainly not with “finance” and therefore policy decisions should not be discussed at all.
So we have Political commentary stripped of the economic reality of policy decisions, and Business commentary stripped of the political reality of policy decisions either in the making or their subsequent consequences.
The mis representation comes from the fact that both are tightly tied into the same equation, and cannot be looked at in isolation.
Consequences of the “Consensus”:
Transnational Corporatism means that you can triangulate away your profitability into 2% tax jurisdictions.
40% unemployment means you need to beef up your social safety net.
From 2004 to 2008 the National Debt went from 4T to 8T. From 2008 to 2016 the number went up to 20T. Its now 24T with 80–90T in unfunded liabilities.
California, based on its economic output, especially of the tech sector, should be able to afford whatever social policies it chooses. But if CA corporations don’t pay taxes in California (or in the US for that matter) then it cannot afford those programs. Not reporting on those facts, is a gross misrepresentation of reality.
If you tax manufacturing at an effective tax rate of 60%, and capital gains at 15% it follows that the money will follow the path of least resistance. It used to be that capital gains got said treatment because the profits were re-invested into capital intensives investments that generated employment. But because of tax policy, those capital intensive investments are now made offshore so as to guarantee the ability to triangulate away the profits to low taxation venues.
No business news source ever discusses the issue of capital gains and the net effect of high taxation on the small and medium size manufacturing sector that does not have the ability to triangulate themselves out of their 60% effective tax rate.
Offshoring has nothing to do with labour costs and everything to do with using your triangulated supply chain to post profits in low tax jurisdictions.
Zero interest rates means that individual depositors get zero interest on their deposits. Corporations thrive, and the banks, borrowing at 1 and lending at 4, make 3 times their 1:9 leverage. 3*9=27%
Higher when extending consumer credit. 6*9=54% minus delinquent losses.
The only thing of value to citizens is their house. With inflation at 2% and real estate taxes at 2% of assessed value, they effectively pay 100% tax on their real property, annually.
Low interest rates are GREAT for the economy!. Turn on Bloomberg News and they will report that with the consistency of a religious mantra.
The biggest consequence of the separation of business news from political opinion news, is that the electorate has no basis upon which to make rational decisions. This is of course intentional, which is of course intentionally prejudicial to the interest of their viewers.
Political reporting is equal measure purposefull misdirect and the equivalent of an ASPCA commercial. Business news is an insult to one’s intelligence. Being informed is thus a choice between compassion fatigue and having one’s intelligence insulted.
The object of the exercise is to make sure nobody watches the news, which once and for all solves all problems.
The “Consensus” is entirely hostile to democracy. The purpose of the consensus is to undermine democracy. Its purpose is to turn over the “governance consensus” to unelected technocrats, the pipe dream of one world order progressives, the world over, for two centuries.
The biggest casualty of the “Consensus” is democracy.
China in 1993 adopted as its Thirty Year Economic Plan, Italy’s 1923–43 Industrial Model of coordinated State Corporatism, Oligarchical based private property, and Technocratic Professorial Regulatory capture.
Because its the only socialist, non progressive non idealized (id est pragmatic), economic model that works. It generates about 80% of the economic output without overshoots or undershoots. Its materially efficient even with negative financial leverage.
The problem is that “meeting them half way” necessary for a proper international governance consensus to develop, means meeting them half way.
Meeting them half way politically. Except that American Democracy and Free Trade is incompatible with the political model.
Its kryptonite to the US Republic.
The biggest casualty of the “Consensus” is Anglo_American representative parliamentary democracy and its solid foundation in pragmatic free trade capitalism.
The same can be said about the Union of European Socialist Republics, aka the “EU” where the same socialist progressive model is being taken to political extremes.
The EU is the most undemocratic, tyrannical and absolutist political consensus ever to develop on the European Peninsula. Meeting them half way, means accepting that representative democracy, constitutional republicanism (roman res publica), and free trade capitalism, is not a goal worth embracing.
The political consequences are just as evident: Brexit preceded American Exceptionalism, Italexit in on the books (because they know what fascism is) and France’s citizens have been in open revolt for over a year now.
The EU plans on exporting their entire agricultural production to third world countries, especially Brazil. Its called the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement.
When you have French, Dutch, and German farmers rioting on the streets, the business news immediately goes into mis-direct mode and never confronts the real issue.
The French establishment hires some Agents Provocateur to organize a good “Black Block” Sunday outing, they burn a couple of dumpsters, and the story line is “Radical Right Wingers on the prowl in Paris destroy Les Champs Elysees…”
A Champ de Mars more likely.
When somebody comes along and says that the electorate should have a say in the aforementioned policy decisions, and make decisions based on their own economic wellbeing, the whole system short circuits.
And that is how we got Orange Man Bad. Anybody could have made the case, but we got the only person willing to make the argument public.
Its the adult employment participation rate, and the fact that wages have not gone up one percent since the 1989 recession, that drives the conversation.
When you ignore the facts, you get surprised by events you had no prior knowledge of. That is the consequence of willfully ignoring facts, and forcing a policy consensus as religious dogma.
Business news reporting, is no better a source of news than the political hacks on cable news channels.
If anybody is surprised by recent challenges to the Consensus its because they are ignoring the facts the news broadcasters purposefully segregate and omit.
One last part to the question.
Truth is not fact, and fact is not truth.
As far as investors are concerned, they pay for the facts, and gather their own information. They take their independent information gathering very seriously and run it very professionally. People on Wall Street are the most informed people I know, because they gather their own data, and work the policy consensus in the interest of their shareholders.
I have never met an investor that relied on “publicly accessible news sources”.
By the time “its in the news, its old news”. The news is simply the Consensus as peddled to the great unwashed masses.
The news does contribute to the excesses of herd dynamics, but most investment is professionally managed anyways.
The oldest profession actually trades real value in exchange for real coin. The second oldest profession is just an impediment to free trade.
Absent the equipment to partake in the pleasantry, or the financial means to demand participatory rights, they must remain content to observe, and speculate as to what they would do if given the equipment and the means. Unfortunately neither is for-coming, thus the disconnect from reality, and the plebeian rancour.
The genius of British Parliamentary Democracy, is that they realized a long time ago that a political Mandate, requires an Establishment that includes everybody and everything that can undermine it.
This bad dog has no dog in the fight, and consequently that’s my story, and I am sticking to it until such time as somebody pays me to say otherwise.