Thursday, December 5, 2013

Getting the news straight

As you know, I'm an avid reader of the news. This means I get news from multiple sources, all with their own unique biases and bents.  This can lead to the same stories being put forth in completely different ways - sometimes contradictory.

The economy is one such subject that constantly suffers from this in the news.

One the one hand, we are told we have banks in Canada and Europe keeping their interest rates very low, in order to help the economy like a shot of energy drinks would help you if you were sluggish. In addition, we have the Fed in the USA buying up bonds and flooding their market with cheap cash - which largely seems to help Wall St, but isn't translating directly into jobs.  This would be like being on a life support machine - it's keeping things going, but it's not improving things by itself.

This indicates that the economy isn't doing particularly well.

On the other hand, the same news outlets are repeating the government releases that things are improving swimmingly.  This is often skewed so that if a quarter is down because the first two months were bad, but a small uptick is seen in the third month, they'll report that "the month was up" and ignore that the quarter is still down.

This makes it sound like things are doing well.  

So, we've got contradictory news.  This confuses people.  I get that the markets are quite irrational right now - being a person that loves to play the precious metals game, I know it's a veritable roller-coaster of crazy moves, but the news isn't helping those that can't see the two sides of the same coin.  At least I'm aware that things aren't going well, so I can play from the pessimistic hymn sheet that says get ready for all hell to break loose. 

What needs to happen is media makes a concerted effort to not just repeat what they hear from any source, but actually cross-reference it all and spit out something that is far more useful using all the information, instead of delivering it piece-meal to a public that doesn't always catch all the pieces.