At "A Dash" we take the investor perspective. Put very simply ---
We frequently express dismay when business journalists substitute their opinions for a presentation of facts, when columns have a clear slant, when bloggers start with a conclusion, and when anchors intermingle opinion with questions.
A New Voice
It is important to identify these errors. They are not obvious to the average listener. This intersection of political comment and business news has stimulated a reaction. There is now a new fact-checking source, Financial Media Matters. Readers following politics may already be familiar with Media Matters, which describes its mission as follows:
We should all understand the approach and possible bias. Having said this, the reports are factual and worthy of evaluation.
We do not engage in political advocacy, but the intersection of political discussion and the economy is crucial right now. Investors need to understand what is factual and be willing to consider fact-checking in an open-minded fashion. This is a new source, and a valuable one.
The First Impact
Media Matters challenged CNBC, suggestion that Larry Kudlow was using his platform as the basis for a possible Senate race. CNBC responded with a clear denial of a Kudlow Senate run. This is positive and important.
We have been long-time fans of the Kudlow show, which brings together many experts and draws out opinions. We have also been concerned about political commentary in Kudlow's anchor segments on CNBC.
The clarification of this point is a good positive step. We followed these developments via the excellent blog from the University of North Carolina, Talking Biz News, now added to our featured sources. We commend the work of Chris Roush, the distinguished journalism prof at North Carolina. This is a good time for investors to monitor his work, and that of his team.
Successful investing means putting aside personal political viewpoints. The election is over. It is time to consider the investment implications of the policies in place. This is not a discussion over cocktails -- it is about your money and your investments.
The overwhelming trend in market commentary is that no government program will work. The criticism of each announcement is immediate and pervasive.
The critics often disagree based upon personal values or politics. They are not engaging in a dispassionate analysis of the programs. Government efforts are not perfect, but they will have an impact. Mainstream economic forecasts recognize this, and diverge widely from those of the punditry, mostly non-economists. Check out this disparity in a nice pickup of some key observations by SF Fed President Janet Yellen at Calculated Risk, another of our featured sources.
Getting this right is the most important challenge for investors.