Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

And over to Ronald McDonald for nutrition advice…

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-11-04

You’d be rightly skeptical of every single word from talking heads on news and current affairs shows if the segment on …

  • nutrition had Ronald McDonald as expert commentator; or
  • medical advice was dispensed by representatives of Big Pharma.

Even TV executives wouldn’t be stupid enough to pull stunts like these: or are they?

On most news/current-affairs shows, the talking heads on economics and finance matters usually have a vested interest in getting more mug punters people to enter the market, increasing market activity, market prices, and of course, commissions to their companies.

While most of the commentators in the press over the last couple of years were talking about how well we were doing, the results of sound economic management, strong fundamentals (… blah, blah, blah), those that earned income because of a reputation for reliable economic intelligence (notably The Economist, and it’s sibling, the Economist Intelligence Unit) have been giving plain warnings about market failures through dodgy derivatives and the dangers of climate change for years.

Ken Davidson of The Age and Dissent Magazine is a more local commentator who deserves praise.

If the mainstream media (including the ABC) had used truly independent economics commentators who had no pecuniary interest in market activity, then perhaps the populace would not have been as ready to over-borrow, or worse still, borrow money to buy shares.  Perhaps some executives might have been more inclined to listen to their risk managers, and been more prudent.  Perhaps some politicians might have tried to stop us pulling our collective pants around our ankles and bending over for the market.

In short, the mainstream media, domestic and international, which has granted credibility to those who stand to profit the most from economic bubbles, should wear some of the blame for the depth of the current economic crisis.

So, please, especially you Aunty ABC, get rid of the talking heads from the likes of CommSec and replace them with an independent economist from a university or the like… preferably one specializing in the topic under discussion.

Alternatively, perhaps the media should do what it does with footy tipsters, displaying their record so far next to their tips… "last date they said the economy was solid", "first time they raised the alarm", et cetera.


One Response to “And over to Ronald McDonald for nutrition advice…”

  1. […] or do you only listen to the comments of the likes of CommSec dealers on TV?  See "And over to Ronald McDonald for nutrition advice…" […]

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