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How Could 9,000 Business Reporters Blow It?
Mother Jones ^ | January/February 2009 | Dean Starkman

Posted on 02/18/2009 7:12:07 PM PST by Lorianne

A former Wall Street Journal writer dissects why business reporters bought the bull—and missed the biggest story on their beat. for casual readers of business coverage—that is, most of us—the past 18 months have been a crash course in things we never knew existed but that, we are told, have already done us all irreparable harm. Not only are the problems catastrophic, goes the somewhat frustrating message, but it is already too late to do anything about them—other, that is, than pay for them.

In looking back on how we got here, the business press assumes a tone of rueful omniscience, as in this late-2007 New York Times piece on regulatory laxity under Alan Greenspan: "Had officials bothered to look, frightening clues of the coming crisis were available." Of course, the clues the Times cites in the very next sentence—the ceaseless research of the North Carolina-based Center for Responsible Lending—were available had anyone bothered to look. So, a reader might well ask, why didn't the media?

(Excerpt) Read more at motherjones.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: economy; greenspan; media; motherjones; wallstreet
There was a lot being written about this coming crash. But very few on the left or the right wanted to hear about it.
1 posted on 02/18/2009 7:12:08 PM PST by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne
But very few on the left or the right wanted to hear about it.

Got that right. I remember a conversation with a friend several years back about our economy and the pundits who claimed debt was a sign of a healthy economy.
2 posted on 02/18/2009 7:15:23 PM PST by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: Lorianne

The left-wing media was more focused on blaming republicans and scaring people rather than informing them. CNN ran a crapload of moronic, unrelated stories about bankers that were caught stealing and spent time blaming the crisis on republicans.

Pretty much how it went with all the mainstream news outlets.


3 posted on 02/18/2009 7:16:13 PM PST by DiogenesLaertius
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To: Lorianne

The business media sucks just as much as all the other media. It’s meant for entertainment purposes only. They only give out the information that people want to hear; and they’re still just as bad as they ever were, having learned nothing.


4 posted on 02/18/2009 7:17:43 PM PST by eclecticEel (Wall Street isn't a charity ... so why are we giving them money?)
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To: DiogenesLaertius

All very true. But media outlets like FOX news, who were NOT busy blaming Republicans/Bush for everything, missed the story too ... deliberately mocking people they interviewed who predicted this meltdown.

Ditto the WSJ

So it was pretty evenly ignored IMO.


5 posted on 02/18/2009 7:34:59 PM PST by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne

I am a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal, and I can remember reading in 2006 about how real estate was getting over inflated and the consequences thereof.


6 posted on 02/18/2009 7:35:15 PM PST by AceMineral (I am not for everyone.)
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To: Lorianne
Mother Jones? Those Marxist loons?
7 posted on 02/18/2009 7:39:02 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Lorianne

I knew it was coming. Most folks I told just patted me on the head and smirked. I predicted on another site in January, 2008 that the housing market would bankrupt most, if not all lenders.

The only part was, it came sooner than I expected by about a year.


8 posted on 02/18/2009 7:42:06 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, John 11:25, 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13, John 6:69)
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To: Lorianne
The liberal country clubs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were sacred cows to the MSM and not to be messed with. WaPo would only report on their non-stop CEO parties and charity bashes. That FM/FM seemed above criticism in the local media stunk to high heaven for way too long.


9 posted on 02/18/2009 7:42:17 PM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: ex-Texan
Pingomundo.

This vindication and $1.50 might buy you and hydroshock a cup of coffee.

10 posted on 02/18/2009 7:46:06 PM PST by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an acorn!)
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To: Lorianne
As long as the left and right worship government, there will be no factual reporting.

I had to stop watching and listening to the news because it is heavily concentrated on what various governments are doing for (to) us.

That, and apparently chicks are in charge of every local news outlet, because I keep getting warned to put on my coat and buckle my seatbelt.

11 posted on 02/18/2009 7:48:30 PM PST by elkfersupper (Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: Lorianne

Mostly because they are stupid.


12 posted on 02/18/2009 8:05:59 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: Lorianne

The financials and mortgage/real estate businesses was one of tv and print media biggest cash cows for advertising revenue. Thats why it was all ignored by most of these reporters. They didn’t want to bite the hand that feed it. They only really started reporting about this once the crap had already hit the fan and all that potential advertising revenue dryed up.


13 posted on 02/18/2009 8:21:18 PM PST by Proud_USA_Republican (Trust unto God and He shall direct your path)
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To: Lorianne

The business press, like other parts of the media, is nothing more than a bunch of lemmings parroting whatever they are told that will allow them to keep getting invited to the parties where they get to rub shoulders with the important people. These important people told them to shut up and pump out the propaganda of endless wealth and nirvana, and they said “yes,sir!”. It is a great shame that we have no real reporters anymore doing any real investigative work to keep the public informed.

Now, they are damage control mode, and we are all learning what happens when you spend yourself into oblivion and beyond. Next stop, national bankruptcy, as the same idiots that wrecked our economy are now kicking it into overdrive to bring back the good old days so they can all go back in time to the nirvana of imaginary wealth. Even now, the incompentent business press continues to push the PR talking points and act like high school cheerleaders.

The illusion of prosperity was a powerful mind altering drug. The junkies addicted to the imaginary wealth wanted to keep believing because they could keep living the good life today while borrowing against the future. Anyone who tried to apply common sense and point out the flaws in this illogical, economically-suicidal stack-of cards was poo-poo’ed and told they were idiots and that they should leave the thinking to the big boys.

Bottom line, never believe your own propaganda, and always realize that reality has a persistent voice.


14 posted on 02/18/2009 8:32:59 PM PST by Gen-X-Dad
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To: Lorianne
I was commenting on it weekly - not on FR, but in real life.

I kept wondering why no Congresscritters ever watched Flip This House.

15 posted on 02/18/2009 8:46:29 PM PST by an amused spectator (Obama: Besteuerung Macht Frei)
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To: Lorianne

Most business news services are so in bed with the companies they cover...you never get any real analysis.

Logic would have told people that this stuff was going to go bust. In Florida, we had real estate going up so high, and expecting people to afford it with service-job paychecks...that was economic suicide in planning

And we still have economic stupidity....the whiners about “protectionism” (when every other nation does it)....bailouts of failed businesses....using disproven economic theories to explain away the economic reality...it just continues


16 posted on 02/18/2009 9:52:32 PM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (The Biggest Threat To American Soverignty Is Rampant Economic Anti-Americanism)
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To: cripplecreek
I remember a conversation with a friend several years back about our economy and the pundits who claimed debt was a sign of a healthy economy.

Do you think debt caused this crisis?

17 posted on 02/18/2009 9:56:05 PM PST by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: Lorianne
I watch and listen to lots of financial talk shows.....most of it all over my head, but I hope to learn something thru osmosis, I guess......

these problems have been talked about for two years......with really serious talk about 1 1/2 yrs ago.....

18 posted on 02/18/2009 11:05:45 PM PST by cherry
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To: Petronski
Do you think debt caused this crisis?

No. The stupidity of thinking we could all live on credit forever was one of the main causes.
19 posted on 02/19/2009 3:25:31 AM PST by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: cherry

The people who have the responsibility to keep us safe from this greed didn’t.

The Center for Responsible Lending? Give us a break. That is the group which first used the instruments of destruction. Was this article written by the New York Times?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2187033/posts

http://www.responsiblelending.org/pdfs/senate-testimony-10-16-08-hearing-stein-final.pdf

http://www.responsiblelending.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herb_Sandler


20 posted on 02/19/2009 3:28:07 AM PST by widdle_wabbit
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To: Lorianne

“There was a lot being written about this coming crash”

I for one didn’t want to read about what I thought was a housing bubble. When in December I read about fraud on a global scale which will lead to the bankruptcy of nations. I ask why.

Why the media can get away with pretending to question themselves in hindsight for having allowed Bush to take us to Iraq; I haven’t heard a peep out of them about this.


21 posted on 02/19/2009 3:43:08 AM PST by widdle_wabbit
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To: Lorianne

There was alot being written, but it was all being minimized by the so-called ‘authorities’ on the economy. Still is. There were plenty of early warning signals.

I guess you could write it off as simple denial when their economic ideology was trumped by reality. That or willful disinformation. Combination of both?


22 posted on 02/19/2009 4:38:08 AM PST by CowboyJay (Blame me. I didn't vote for Perot.)
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