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« The Most Important Stat: Bloggers versus Experts | Main | How to Profit from the Obama Stocks »

June 11, 2009


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Over the last several months I have taken to watching Bloomberg TV almost exclusively for my financial TV news (also, now that my local cable provides it 24/7). While not perfect, it is far more professional in its approach to interviews, and often provides long-form interviews with people who have something to say, not shouting matches. Also from my west coast timezone perspective, I like its rolling around-the-globe coverage of Asia and Europe in my evening hours, rather than CNBC's reruns of afternoon shows, game shows, and infomercials.

CNBC's mgmt has suffered from "Fox News-envy" ever since, well, since Fox news was just on the drawing boards in the mid-'90s. And rather than rise to the occasion in this financial crisis, and despite having maybe a few sharp journalists, CNBC has chosen to double-down on the sensationalism, WWE-style fake debates, and pointless cross-talk.

Having said all that, I thought Haines' question was not an invalid one to ask. It seems Frank, already prickly at the lightweight questions, misunderstood the intention of "Burning Down the House," and in the ensuing cross-talk interruption he and Haines got into a posturing match rather than a genuine disagreement. I'm sure Frank will be back for more interviews though.


Jeff, this was a great post.

The financial news companies believe the best way to get ratings is to espouse political views, offer opinions and scream. How does this make investors money? It doesn't.

Investors should do the right thing and turn off the TV.


Your position fits what I receive from other advisors I follow. Frank is always worth monitoring due to his massive power in the legislature. Frank, as you point out is also very smart. However, none of those facts counters Frank's personality. He is a bully, partly because he is so smart and can rough up the media. He enjoys these confrontations and his reputation.
The real issue is that the financial media acts too much like the regular media. Regular media's job is to confront politicians. Financial media is no different. With Frank, a similar exchange could have just as easily happened with Charlie Rose as Mark Haines.


Dinasour -- So you are one of the many who do not like Frank or his record. I am agnostic. I just want to figure out what is likely to happen, and what the implications will be for stocks.

The key question is how much he and Congress will meddle with the decisions of private companies. I want to learn as much as possible about this. I like interviewers who draw out his opinions, asking brief questions that get him to elaborate.

Briefly put, we should all be trying to figure out what is going to happen, whether or not we like the key power figures.

This is a method that has worked for me through several administrations. I am just trying to explain the approach.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I hope this clarifies my approach.



BKL -- I am trying to illustrate how to use information from various sources.

My approach is to get whatever information is available, whether I personally agree with the source or not.

Zero Hedge has a different model, with commentary often emphasizing political opinion. This seems to be popular with most readers.

I leave it to you to determine whether this political approach helps your investments. Also, if you read their commentary, there is another question ---

If what I wrote is a jab, what would you call their commentary about Rep. Frank?

For the record, I find many of the articles at ZH to be quite interesting and helpful. I think they would be even better if they focused on the analysis and did not engage in personal attacks related to lifestyle.

I am curious. Do you think the comments there were helpful and appropriate?

Thanks for the question, allowing me to explain better.



Why the jab at Zero Hedge?


Yes Frank is super sharp and has alot of power, but he had already laid out what he wanted out of this regulation in the interview. The next step was to debate it. BTW, I've seen CNBC interview him many times. I think the guy is a weasel as evidenced by his support of the ever expanding leverage of FRE and FNM and blind eye to the compensation and regulation issues that came before congress in 03' and 04'. The guy definetely knows what to say and when to say it....macheavelian indeed.

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