Last night I watched CNBC countdown the 'most important business stories of 2005':
(5) Google's dynamic growth (4) The woes of the Detroit automakers (3) Martha Stewart's comeback (2) The energy sector's price run up (1) Hurricane Katrina
According to CNBC, Ms. Stewart's wonderous, awe-inspiring, unbelievable, miraculous and relentless 'comeback' was multifaceted. CNBC's coverage of their third-most-important story treated viewers to Martha wearing her poncho while boarding her jet; Martha showing off her ankle bracelet; Martha entering the set of her daytime tv show; among the other such highly significant aspects of the comeback. I especially enjoyed watching their video clip of CEO Lynn hunting and pecking on her laptop's keyboard with 2 fingers, while she received her share of the praise for being such an astute business woman.
The networks should be ashamed for slipping that ringer into their list. Maybe if Ms. Stewart had come back from the dead instead of from jail, the story might have deserved an honorable mention. Come on, give me a break! MSO's market cap doesn't even exceed $1 Billion.
In the opinion of the show's editors and producer, Ms. Stewart and her 'impressive' comeback were more important than, say: the reversal of the US dollar's downtrend; the explosion in prices for precious metals and other commodities; the housing bubble; the Fed's ratcheting of interest rates at a moderate pace; China's emerging dominance; and so forth.
Shame, shame, shame CNBC. Where is your credibility?
That CNBC could rate MSO as a comeback let alone a story worthy of the top 600 in the year simple remarks on its triviality and lack of serious clout.
The continuing and inevitable collapse of GM, whose impact on the US economy will be deep and far reaching, was far and away the biggest story of last year. Thanks to GM (and the airlines who have preceded it) the US economy especially the role of retirement and health plans in it is going to be overhauled from stem to stern in the coming years. Union power, weakened by Reagan and the air traffic controllers is on the verge of being shattered on the anvil of airline and car company restructuring. Long term increase in energy prices is also right up there and will similarly have major transformative effects on the economy. By the way, my own opinions on any of these stories is irrelevant - it is impossible to deny the writing that is on the wall and the public policy and economic battlegrounds that are being established. How those battles will come out is another matter entirely.
MSO - as much as we love to dump on it or pump it - is just a piece of unimportant fluff. If it went BK or shot to $60, its impact on the market or anything other than a few pocket books would be negligeable. They haven't invented anything, have transformed nothing and are doing nothing new or innovative. But the 24 hr news networks make major stories out of California Congressmen having love affairs with interns (I can't remember her name or his - shows you how important it was) and go live to the scene of trivial stories which are given wall to wall coverage for months on end.
Bread and circuses friends. They are the circuses.
Happy New Year and here's to more volatility in MSO (I just wish it were more liquid!!!)
"Shame, shame, shame CNBC. Where is your credibility?"
What credibility? If you want to know what CNBC is all about, go to squawkblog.com and read the commments posted under the New Squawk Box article. There are almost 300 posts trashing the new format. Everyone hates it, and CNBC does nothing about it. They do what they want to do and have no desire to be credible. They don't give a damn.