Sabtu, 17 Maret 2018

The poor state of business journalism

If you clicked on Business News from the US on Google, here's a sample of the news items that are featuredBusiness news has become a reality show. Where are the many important economic issues facing the world ? Where is the reasoned debate ? I had hoped that the dry area of economics and business would be the last to succumb to trivialisation and  sensationalisation. Alas, it has already fallen.

Take the case of the Nirav Modi - Punjab National Bank fraud that has hit the headlines in India. It is a massive fraud and yet try as I might,  and despite the millions of words written and aired on this (the favourite word is scam - in India everything is a scam), I am not able to make out what exactly happened. There isn't one journalistic piece on what exactly happened in detail, why it happened and how can it be prevented. Instead the predominant coverage is that because of the same surname as the Indian Prime Minister, the opposition Congress Party has been going around calling Nirav Modi as "Chhota Modi" (Smaller Modi) although there is absolutely no evidence of any relationship.  Both the parties are blaming each other loudly (from what news has come out, this appears to be a plain banking fraud with no link to politics).

The two finest business newspapers in the world - Financial Times of the UK and the Wall Street Journal have become obsessed with Trump. No, I don't want to read anything about him, thank you.

The Economist remains the only "good" read. Alas, this blogger's subscription is having some niggles and there has been no issue to read for a month.

Can we examine America pumping itself with steroids? They are reducing taxes, increasing military spending, increasing social spending and presuming to invest in infrastructure at the same time, and that too when the country is near full employment. This is deficit financing on a staggering scale , being done by the party that ostensibly hates deficits. 

Can we examine the Brexit issue in terms of what exactly the trade deal issues are ? Can we examine China's pile of debt ? Can we marvel at Europe overtaking the US in economic growth - yes that happened last quarter. Can we think about the boom in India's indirect tax revenues ?

Instead I am being told that a Transavia flight made an emergency landing because a passenger refused to stop farting.