October 25th, 2012

Maria Misses the Big Picture

Maria Bartiromo lambasted Greg Smith’s controversial book and his criticism of the culture at Goldman Sachs.  But, if you read the transcript carefully, you see that it was actually an op-ed piece about her placing the blame of the low participation on the part of individual investors in the market these days squarely on Wall Street practices.

She may also have been trying to place blame for the drop in the viewership of CNBC also on the absence of individual investor participation and, by inference, at Wall Street’s shenanigans.  In a recent NY Daily News article quotes CNBC execs as saying that

“the cable business channel are “freaking out” because viewership levels are down essentially across-the-board, particularly with its marquee shows, “Squawk Box” and “Closing Bell”. Their biggest attractions have become their biggest losers.”……..

 

The network has already moved to revive “Closing Bell.” On Friday, CNBC announced it had poaching “Cavuto” exec producer Gary Schreier to take the helm of Bartiromo’s show.  According to the Nielsens, “Closing Bell” is also seeing its third straight quarter of decline.

 

From April 2011 to April 2012, the show is down 16 percent in total viewers and 11 percent in the 25-54 demographic.

“Maria gets good interviews, but she’s also not creating enough buzz,” says the insider.

It should be noted, that the Murdoch empire owns the NY Post, a Daily News competitor and also has the Fox Business News Network and delivers “Your World with Cavuto” on the Fox News Network.  But back to Maria’s rant.  In her op-ed piece, she claimed that

“there are issues in the [Wall Street] community.  Why else has the retail investor left the party?  trust has plummeted between the financial crisis, flash crashes, trading glitches and debacles like the facebook ipo, it has taken a toll on the retail investor.  bottom line, clients should be the priority, integrity should be the goal even at the expense of profitability, so books like these will not help.  it’s time for wall street to work overtime if and when that trusts returns, we all know that will help a lot more than just wall street.”

Where has Maria been for the past 10-12 years?  Has she had an opportunity to do more than merely repeat the day’s screaming headlines to actually see how truly abysmal the market’s performance has actually been during the secular bear market of the past twelve years?  True, there has been extreme, volatile long-term moves of 100% to the upside and 50% to the downside.  But in the end, the market is just about where it was in 2000.  The absence of individual investors probably has more to do with the Afghan/Iraq wars, the housing/financial crisis and failed Congressional/Executive leadership than it does Wall Street’s failures or excesses. (image from post several days ago, Important Stock Market Supports)

With the market failing to deliver any positive news, why should the small investor participate?  Why should they watch CNBC?  And, I might add rather selfishly, why should they read this or any other blog?  My hope is the the market does successfully break across the all-time highs not only because my investments will again be able to easily show some significant gains but also because my readership will jump and I’ll be able to sell more of my book.

Don’t loose hope; keep your chin up.  Contrary to the bearish views of many observers and Maria’s rather narrow view of Wall Street behavior being the culprit, the book’s final chapter is entitled “Where to from Here?” and it offers a fairly optimistic view of the market’s direction to 2020.

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