Businessmen often get a bad rep in the news media, but that wasn’t the case in a Barron’s profile of a former CEO who now works to help former prisoners because of his Christian faith.
“Answering God’s Call,” was the cover story of the Barron’s weekly business newspaper on Aug. 3. The paper profiled former Wells Fargo CEO Danny Ludeman, who stepped down from his position of 15 years in order to focus on his faith.
Call it a conflict of interest or what you will - but how should The Washington Post handle formal inquiries into its business practices as it pertains to news coverage?
In July 2009, when the Post got in embroiled in controversy over its own pay-for-play scandal, the Post's media reporter Howard Kurtz took on the newspaper's publisher Katharine Weymouth. However, as the March 8 issue of Barron's pointed out - you would have to be on top of Security and Exchange Commission filings to have caught wind of the newest trouble for the Washington Post Co.'s (NYSE:WPO) relating to it's education division.
"The Washington Post covers government agencies as closely as any daily newspaper. Yet an investor would have had to scroll through the Washington Post Co.'s (WPO) 10-K filing last week to see news of a Department of Education inquiry into its important education unit," Michael Santoli and Bill Alpert wrote for Barron's. "The Post's education business, anchored by the Kaplan for-profit college and test-prep businesses, contributed 58% of 2009's revenue and all of its $195 million of operating income."
This isn’t your father’s business and financial weekly.
Looking for ten successful companies? Then look no further than the main story of the June 1 edition of “Barron’s.” With Michelle Obama splashed on the front cover, “Barron’s” created the “The Michelle Index,” a list of ten companies that “offer superior value.” The list is named in honor of Obama, “whose championing of brands that offer good value reflects a nationwide trend.”
One of the tricks in the global warming alarmist playbook over the years has been to show how global warming will cause sea levels to rise and flood the low-lying coastal areas where population centers happen to be, specifically lower Manhattan in New York City.
However, the imagery used by Al Gore in his "An Inconvenient Truth" and by various other global warming made-for-television specials isn't scientifically accurate according to Bjørn Lomborg, author of "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming."
Lomborg was asked by Gene Epstein in the May 18 issue of Barron's if it would be "smart to prevent global warming as soon as possible -- to avoid seeing Manhattan under 20 feet of water in ten years?"
Is it possible the financial media played a role in facilitating the alleged $50 billion Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme? An interesting theory by Jon Najarian, CNBC analyst and cofounder of optionMONSTER, contends that they very well may have unwittingly done just that. Madoff, he believes, used media publicity to lure investors to his scheme.
As Najarian explained on CNBC's Dec. 22 "Fast Money," Madoff got his reputation on Wall Street in the payment for order flow business. That's when a brokerage firm receives a payment as compensation for directing the order to the different parties that can execute the order at a lower cost.
"First of all you needed something that was very credible, because what he started off with was very credible," Najarian said. "As we both know, Dylan, he was in the payment for order flow business before anybody else. That meant folks that he was buying on the bid and selling on the offer back when the spread on NASDAQ stocks was 50 cents wide."
It seems like a no-brainer: Raising taxes is bad. It's a shame that Barron's is one of the few outlets to pick up on it.
An economic plan floated out by Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, Ill., would raise taxes on incomes above $250,000 - with the highest rate at 39.6 percent - and redistribute the wealth to the poor and middle-class. But that would be a big mistake, according to an article by Jim McTague in the August 25 issue of Barron's.
"It's almost as if Obama wants to repeat the mistakes of Herbert Hoover," McTague wrote. "During the Great Depression, Hoover raised the top marginal rate to 63% from 25% and hiked corporate taxes, too, says Michael Aronstein, chief investment strategist at Oscar Gruss & Son in New York. The moves siphoned needed investment capital out of the markets and into the hands of bureaucrats, delaying the turnaround."
This week marks the unhappy milestone of Black Monday for Wall Street, which had some journalists warning “it could” happen again. Even if it doesn’t, the media hammered home the prospect of a possible recession.
"Can it happen again? It could," said CBS correspondent Alexis Christoforous on "Evening News" October 14.
It was only a matter of time before someone on CNBC took a shot at Fox Business Network and it came from CNBC’s resident loose cannon, “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. (Video of the incident is available here.)
“I had the choice of watching a rival business channel or getting a root canal,” Cramer said on CNBC’s October 15 “Street Signs” “And I chose the root canal.”
CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer responded on his August 20 program to the August 20 Barron’s article that showed how his stock picks lag gains in the Dow, NASDAQ and Standard & Poor’s 500.
“In the face of what I … what we all think was a baseless, ugly article about me by a partner, which I found insulting to my audience and to your intelligence, I’ve been overwhelmed the past two days by words of kindness and support from you guys,” said Cramer.
It’s been a bumpy ride in the markets and as with any news with such a serious downside, the NBC “Nightly News” has been all over it.
But who they chose to be front and center for their coverage has been a bit curious. CNBC’s Jim Cramer has appeared on the “Nightly News” five times in 2007 and eight times on the “Today” show – the majority of those appearances in recent weeks. (Kudlow, anyone?)