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Monday, January 28, 2013

"We call it Propaganda.. others call it 'Comfort Food'

When people think of the word 'propaganda' as applied to media, usually one either thinks of the former Soviet Union's firm control of its newspapers during the Cold War, like Pravda, which translated into 'the truth' or a little further back to WWII and the Nazis; Josef Goebbels perfecting the art of mass swaying through outward lie.

Well, truth is we in the good ole' USA do it too..

Our media may not do it as often or have perfected the craft of manipulation as to remove all sloppy overtness with the emphasis on subtleties..

But you best believe and understand we do it, and the news media that is supposedly the most reputable and expensive to acquire via subscription are the most guilty.

A genuinely horrid, lie-infested piece of pro-stock market propaganda was written by the New York Times this past Friday, January 25th entitled 'As Worries Ebb, Small Investors Propel Markets'.
The title itself is an outright falsehood and inducement to get mom & pop investors and everyday folk who are genuinely and rightfully scared to death of this artificially manipulated market, to park their precious money, so others can profit from it.

The entirety of the article is pure propaganda poppycock.

So we're going to break  most of the article down and sift through the myriad of muck to point out what propaganda truly looks like.  The article will be reposted here word for word (in blue font) and we will comment in normal color font wherever necessary.  The direct link to the NY Times article is to be found by clicking 'Here'

All photos were added by us to break down the length of the posting, and not part of the NY Times article.
Let's begin:

Americans seem to be falling in love with stocks again.

No they're not.  And this first sentence here is an example of what is taught in advertising as persuasion, getting the reader or viewer to 'follow the crowd' or accept an artificial 'majority' knows more than you.  To be properly suckered, you must accept this first sentence for the rest of the 'comfort food' to be easily digested without question...

Millions of people all but abandoned the market after the 2008 financial crisis, but now individual investors are pouring more money than they have in years into stock mutual funds. The flood, prompted by fading economic threats and better news on housing and jobs, has helped propel the broad market to within striking distance of its highest nominal level ever.

“You’ve got a real sea change in investor outlook,” said Andrew Wilkinson, the chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak Associates.

We disagree with 'millions of people' but that aside, the writer never mentions why money might be pouring in such as its Impossible to survive on the interest rates coming from traditional risk-free banking and the Fed this on Purpose to steer 'mom & pop' into the market like cattle or WWII Eastern Europeans into cattle-cars.
Then there's a quote meant to give emphasis to the writer that his view is correct.  Wilkinson is what is called in Investment jargon, a perma-bull.  In other words it is his job to always be optimistic and upbeat about the market and the economy because his livelihood is dependent upon it.

And when reality looks pessimistic, you inject hope from outside sources..  Last year, MoneyNews.com interviewed him and its article title was, 'Miller Tabak’s Wilkinson: Fed ‘Will Come to Rescue,’ US Stocks to Soar'.  He didn't seem to make any reference to it when the Times sought a quote, did he?

We're not disputing his accuracy.. only his credibility.  Continuing...

While the rising market may lift the nation’s collective spirits, it will not necessarily restore everyone’s portfolios. In good times and bad, many individual investors tend to buy and sell at precisely the wrong moments. They dump stocks after the market falls and buy stocks after the market rises, the opposite of what investors aim to do.
Some market experts worry that might be happening this time, too. People who got out as stocks plummeted in 2008 and early 2009 have already missed a remarkable rally. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has soared 120 percent since March 2009, passing the 1,500 milestone. This year alone, the main indexes are up 5 percent. Now, the investing public seems more afraid of missing out than of misreading Wall Street again.

Americans’ latest stock-market romance is young, and it could easily fade before it becomes something more serious. Some market watchers warn that given the big run-up in prices, the market is already ripe for at least a brief correction.

This correction when it occurs, and it Will occur though not in the minimal way the writer is implying, is called a Minsky moment.

The late economist Hyman Minsky hypothized back in the 1960s that a long stretch of calm on Wall Street and in the broader markets sows the seeds of its own demise.
According to Minsky, investors take on more risk and debt in boom times, when complacency and easy money are the rage, until they hit a point when they realize they can’t service that debt. The ensuing rush to the exits is dominated by margin calls and forced selling; in an inflection known as a “Minsky moment,” markets fall, as does access to capital. The preliminaries to the ’08 financial crisis were marked by such instances.

Continuing...

Still, the optimism that has pervaded the market in recent weeks is a drastic change from recent years. Until recently, many investors had continued to shy away from stocks in the face of a trio of hovering problems — the potential breakdown of the euro zone, fears of a stalling Chinese economy and political brinkmanship in Washington that threatened to drive the economy into a new recession.

One after another, these threats appear to have dissipated. This week Congress found at least a short-term way around the nation’s debt ceiling, sidestepping Republican threats to let the government default when it reached a self-imposed borrowing limit in February or March.
This bleeping Fool either doesn't understand none of the trio of problems have been remotely solved or simply doesn't wish to acknowledge it.

Nothing is shored up in the euro zone-- the bankers have only invented clever new contrivances to copy the Fed as best it can via a centralized authority that seeks to collect various nation debts into one grand-debt, and continually can-kicks repayment while the European Central Bank prints out endless amounts of euros to devalue their currency and essentially paying those deadbeat PIIGS nations not to leave and go back to their own currencies.

China's economy is stalling.  It may be growing at a pace of around 7.5% to 8% which isn't great when over a billion populace, but as CNN points out, it is"well below the average 10% growth seen in the past three decades"   And their economy is heavily dependent on Americans' ability to buy their crap and the #1 means we are doing so isn't with real money but with personal debt acquisition or in layperson terms, credit cards.

Other experts believe China's economy is heading slowly toward stagflation i.e. a condition of slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment accompanied by a rise in prices, or inflation.
As for this notion of no more immediate US political brinksmanship, sorry to cuss but what an ignorant Asshole!  First it was the Republicans who proposed the extension they can't be both defiant & gutless, can they? Also, the agreement last week by cowardly politicians (spineless Dems and wussy President accepted the proposal) was to push back discussion and debate of the debt limit by only two months!

And they still have to deal with all the budgetary cuts relating to the fiscal cliff that should have been taken care of by the end of 2012.   The cowards can always can-kick that too...

Eventually these battles will Have to be fought and you will see equally cowardly professional Investors do drastic sell-offs.

So nothing has been 'dissipated'.. Unless of course you the reader really want to Believe it is, to which this NY Times' bastard liar's words are "comfort food' to your eyes.

Continuing...

As the fog of crisis has cleared, investors have more clearly focused on the cascade of good economic data pointing to a growing housing market, shrinking unemployment and corporate earnings that were stronger than expected.
The so-called growing housing market is due to outright Fed manipulation via $85bil/mo in mortgage securities being purchased, the banks purposely controlling supply/demand and a loophole allowing foreign wealthy to funnel their money into the country via purchasing of real estate that would be illegal if simply opening new savings accounts.

As for unemployment, it has not shrinked-- only the number of "official" unemployed.  Over 10 million Americans have been out of work since 2008 and have exhausted all benefits and have yet to find work.  These people don't count statistically anymore.

As for corporate earnings, even in the best of times it should not be celebrated except by the soulless and greedy.  But when corporations are able to expand profit while not hiring or expanding, it should raise a red flag.  They're simply selling company shares and/or focusing on foreign consumption of products/services to maximize profits.

Amazing this jerk writer doesn't understand any of this.. or consciously chooses to leave all of this out of his article so readers will be clueless...
“The last few weeks represent the belief that there will be no existential threat to any large global economy in 2013,” said Nicholas Colas, the chief market strategist at BNY ConvergEx group.

Jim Cole, a 52-year-old employee at the Bank of the West in San Francisco, had most of the money in his individual retirement account in cash at the end of 2012 as he awaited a bad outcome to the fiscal negotiations in Washington. Since Congress reached its agreement, he has put almost all of that money to work in stocks.

“I just bought some more stock this morning,” Mr. Cole said Friday. “There doesn’t seem to be this swirl of impending doom hanging over the U.S. economy or the world economy looking out six to 12 months from now.”

What an utterly naive man; a dupe..  Amazing... Sad...  The vast majority of people had Zero clue about Lehman Bros before it collapsed... none.  The Fed itself was utterly clueless that 2008 could occur or they would have taken preventive steps to protect themselves and their financial buddies.

What's that famous line.. "A fool and his (or her) money are soon parted"
The optimism about the economy and corporate profits has helped fuel eight straight positive days for the S. & P. 500, the longest such run since 2004. The S.& P. 500 finished Friday up 8.14 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,502.96.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 70.65 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,895.98, near its high. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbed 19.33 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,149.71, still well below its peak in 2000.

There is no surefire data to use to gauge the behavior of retail investors. Some of those who left stock-focused mutual funds in recent years have put the money instead into specific stocks or exchange-traded funds, which hold baskets of stocks. But analysts agree that most indicators point to rising confidence in the market.

The level of bullishness among small investors has nearly doubled just since mid-November, according to a weekly survey conducted by the American Association of Individual Investors.
A survey is nothing more than an opinion poll.  And the only qualifications to vote is to pay a $29 annual membership to the group for their publication...then you can vote in all the surveys you wish.

Now on their website, there's two surveys... one is short term bullishness and one is long term.   Now short term bullishness is felt by 52.3% ..wowie-zowie... That's a lot of greed positivity!  Now what its long term bullishness?  39%, with 30.5% each feeling neutral and bearish (negative).

Its really all how you wish to look at it.. like the glass of water half filled.  You can say that almost 70% feel positive about the market (bullish or neutral)  or 61% feel negative (neutral and bearish)  The NY Times writer wants you to invest so guess how he will slant it?
Summary:

A picture is painted of sunny skies, chirping bluebirds and glowing rainbows by this parasite NY Times writer where the stock market and everyday investors are concerned.

He spends not a single sentence explaining 'why' the market has risen when the rest of the economy is in the doldrums, makes no reference to its artificality or manipulations by the Fed, and at no time presents a picture that when you invest, you put your money at grave risk.

No, the article sells the lie that the post-2008 stock market can only go Up, Up, UP!  And even if it goes down, he clairvoyantly states it will be minimal..  oh, you'll barely feel it in your portfolio... Then it will continue the upward climb preordained by the 'Gods'

This is called Propaganda.
Lastly, when you go on the Times article Here, you will see a banner advertisement at the top for a company selling gold coins and to the right, a clickable ad for a quick-trade site, perfect for small investors and day-traders, who along with professional Investors are among the most pungent of the pungent..

So don't be naive- NY Times has an agenda.. to appease its advertisers with content positive to the products they are selling.

Now look at the ads on our page...  oh, you don't see Any ads at all??

Exactly.