Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CNBC ≠ Financial Industry

Ever since the financial panic that followed Lehman's failure, people has been paying a lot more attention to financial markets than they usually do. This has led to CNBC coming in for a lot of criticism, almost all of which seems to be justified. But there seems to be this idea out there that CNBC represents the mindset of the financial industry—because, you know, it's about finance, and therefore everyone in the financial industry must watch CNBC. For example, HBO's Bill Maher said, referring to CNBC:

This is the channel that Wall Street watches all day. ... I think this is more than a channel; I think it affects what happens on Wall Street.
You shouldn't be fooled into thinking that CNBC represents the mindset of the financial industry. I've worked in the capital markets in one capacity or another for almost all of CNBC's 20-year history, and I almost never watch CNBC. None of my friends or colleagues in finance watch CNBC on anything close to a regular basis either—the yahoos on CNBC are too stupid for anyone to stomach. I watch Bloomberg TV every day, and so does pretty much everyone I know in finance (if they watch TV at all). Bloomberg TV is excellent; it's nothing at all like CNBC. As far as I can tell, CNBC is mainly for retail investors, which would explain why CNBC focuses almost exclusively on the stock market. Bloomberg understands that the bond and derivatives markets are 100 times more important than the stock market. (On a side note, Bloomberg Radio, which I listen to whenever I'm in the car, is as good as it gets for financial media. If you want to know what apolitical news coverage sounds like, listen to Bloomberg Radio. Tom Keene is by far the best host out there: he's extremely knowledgeable and fair-minded, but he's also not afraid to push back against flimsy/bullshit arguments. Guests on Keene's shows are given the time to make longer and more complex comments, which is a refreshing change of pace from the soundbite-happy mainstream media.)


Bryan said...

yes, but CNBC's "Money honeys" are more concupiscently attractive [cheap shot, but fair, since Erin Burnett smacked off about Sarah Palin being a MILF; soon enough, Erin will graduate to COUGAR rank herself].

I wouldn't even bring this up except that Cambridge U researchers have been publishing stuff on testosterone levels of Canary Row traders, and Stanford psych investigators have also reported that irrelevant erotica amps up males...

That said, I usually run CNBC with the sound off, and if I note something I may want to hear in toto, I check the clip on CNBC.com; same for Bloomberg TV.

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