CNBC has a well-earned reputation for being, not an impartial observer of the financial markets, but a breathless cheerleader for everything that transpires on Wall Street. Over the past twenty years, two of the largest financial bubbles in world history have blown up in the United States. In spite of being exclusively dedicated to business reporting, CNBC never expressed any sort of skepticism towards the enormous financial dislocations that were building during either the tech or housing bubbles. Front Point Partners was one of the few hedge funds to see the housing bubble develop and subsequently profit from its collapse. Here is Danny Moses, Front Point’s head trader, on the typical insights provided by CNBC;
“We turned off CNBC. It became very frustrating that they weren’t in touch with reality anymore. If something negative happened, they’d spin it positive. If something positive happened, they’d blow it out of proportion. It alters your mind. You can’t be clouded with shit like that.”
Steve Liesman is CNBC’s chief economics correspondent. As such, he should be sufficiently far removed from the daily fluctuations of the markets to take a long view of economic events. History shows that all sorts of idiocy and rampant speculative excesses can look good in the short term, only to end in a spectacular collapse. Instead of adopting a long view, Liesman has become the biggest shill and lackey for the Federal Reserve of the Greenspan/Bernanke era. In this era – which started in 1987 and still animates the Fed to this day – the Fed adopted a policy of unprecedented active involvement in the economy. Simple logic dictates that the unprecedented formation of the two enormous speculative bubbles that define the Greenspan/Bernanke era, are a direct consequence of the Fed’s unprecedented attempt to actively manage the economy. Instead of pursuing this obvious line of inquiry, Liesman, along with the other financial journalists charged with covering the Fed, have seemingly been reduced to sycophants currying favor from the Fed.
Here is Ben Bernanke on the “specialized” reporters – read lackeys - covering the Fed;
“…Generally, I spent the most time with the beat reporters who wrote regularly about the Fed, including Jon Hilsenrath of the Wall Street Journal, Greg Ip of The Economist, Krishna Guha of the Financial Times, Neil Irwin of the Washington Post, John Berry of Bloomberg, Steve Liesman of CNBC and Ed Andrews of the New York Times. I knew these more specialized reporters were best equipped to understand and then explain what we were doing and why. Other media would pick up their reporting….”
Ben Bernanke is not describing an independent media; he is describing a propaganda arm. As Bernanke makes clear, CNBC was fake news before fake news was cool.
See CNBC’s Jim Cramer (#14) for his efforts as chief propagandist for Wall Street and crony capitalists everywhere. See Austan Goolsbee (#25) and Art Laffer (#32) for the type of “experts” CNBC typically features.