Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Q Tips

NPR related comments are always welcomed.


Anonymous said...

"Paulson's Handling Of Crisis Draws Mixed Reviews"

by NPR's Frank Langfitt

"Most observers say Paulson has made at least one big mistake: allowing Lehman Brothers to go bankrupt. The collapse rippled through the financial system and triggered the fall of insurance giant AIG.

In fairness, many people agreed with the move at the time. They didn't think the government should keep bailing out Wall Street firms.

Paulson wasn't available to speak with NPR for this story, but he defended his Lehman decision Wednesday on CNBC.

"We worked very hard on Lehman," he said, but "it turns out there wasn't a buyer."

//end quote

If NPR were fair, they would also have mentioned a few more facts.

But NPR is neither Fair nor balancedso they did not mention the following:

Paulson is former CEO of Goldman Sachs (he left Goldman to become Treasury Secretary, in fact)

Paulson made hundreds of millions of dollars from Goldman Sachs.

Lehman Brothers was Goldman Sachs' chief competitor in debt underwriting.

As the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch's David Weidner commented on Oct 2

"Goldman is getting the best of the credit crisis
Commentary: Opponents have been vanquished and bad bets wiped away"

"Judging by the government's reaction, Morgan Stanley and Goldman should have been next -- either through a crisis sale like Merrill or a liquidation like Lehman. Investors sent their stocks reeling. Morgan Stanley quickly began talks with Wachovia Corp., while Goldman kept quiet.
During all of this, Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein was in the middle of talks about the future of another crippled company, American International Group Inc. (AIG:
As Gretchen Morgenson reported in the New York Times last week, those talks resulted in an $85 billion bailout of AIG via a government loan, and, oh yeah, the deal may have saved Goldman $20 billion in losses due to its trading position with the insurer."

//end Weidner quote

Finally, as Economist Dean Baker has noted (and NPR has not):

"According to the NYT, Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO, was in the room with Henry Paulson (former CEO of Goldman) when the decision to save AIG was made. Why does this matter? According to the NYT, AIG owed Goldman $20 billion. If AIG had been allowed to go bankrupt, Goldman would be in line with all the other creditors, hoping for a few dimes back on each dollar of debt. Because Henry Paulson decided to rescue AIG, Goldman gets paid in full.

from "Wall Street's Infinite Sleaze: Goldman and AIG"
By Dean Baker - September 27, 2008, 10:21PM

Funny how NPR has made NO mention of ANY of this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Joe the plumber

Obviously NPR did not bother to check out Joe the Plumber before just assuming he was legit.

Instead they wrote vacuous pieces like this

Joe The Plumber' And Other Joes We Know, October 16, 2008 · "Joe the Plumber" seemed to be the hottest topic during Wednesday night's presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama."

But according to an Ohio newspaper (who, unlike NPR, actually knows what journalism is) Joe the Plumber is not even licensed

From Toledo Blade

"Joe the plumber' isn’t licensed
Local man focus of presidential debate

Springfield Township resident Joe Wurzelbacher answers questions from the media on his front porch.

"Joe the Plumber" isn’t a plumber — at least not a licensed one, or a registered one."

Anonymous said...

NPR has also not mentioned the fact that virtually all economists advised against Paulson's original "cash for trash" plan.

It's not like the total failure of Paulson's plan to do anything at all to get credit flowing again has been any real surprise or anything (except to NPR reporters, that is).

NPR was so busy fear mongering that they never bothered to question (economists or anyone else) whether the Paulosn plan would work.

Nobel economics prize winner Joseph Stiglitz warned about the Paulosn plan but was virtually ignored by most of the media, including NPR

"Paulson Tries Again"
Thursday 16 October 2008
by: Joseph Stiglitz, The Guardian UK

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, reflected in a photo of the Treasury Department building. (Photo: Getty Images)

Unlike the UK plan, the revamped American bail-out puts banks first and taxpayers second.

"Gordon Brown has won plaudits over recent days for inspiring the turnaround in Hank Paulson's thinking that saw him progress from his "cash for trash" plan - derided by almost every economist, and many respected financiers - to a capital injection approach. The international pressure brought to bear on America may indeed have contributed to Paulson's volte-face."

Unknown said...

Re: Joe the Plumber

Jay Leno mentioned Joe the Plumber, during Joe Biden's excellent guest appearance Thurday night.
Jay Leno joked about "Joe the Plumber" having no license.

While I would not rely on a late night comedian for my main source of news, Leno has NPR beat on vetting Joe the Plumber.

Anonymous said...

Interesting - with all these recent examples as cited, I think I'm better informed by NOT listening to NoPR McNews anymore.

Unknown said...

B!P!F!B!, perhaps NPR is approaching Fox News levels of Fair and Balanced, where there's more information in the static between stations than in the programming.

RepubLiecan said...

It was astounding how difficult it was for NPR and PBS to find economists with dissenting views. I guess most of those 220 economists that signed a letter opposing the original Paulson provisions of the bailout were too busy to appear on air. CPB, PBS and NPR really need to change the Public in their names to Propaganda.

Anonymous said...

CPB, PBS and NPR really need to change the Public in their names to Propaganda."

They don't need to change it explicitly.

They have already changed it implicitly.

And everyone recognizes this fact.

Now if we could just get Congress to recognize it, Congress would also have to acknowledge that NPR ie, its management) is in violation of US law.

Since 1951, Congress has forbidden the use of public funds for propaganda:

“No part of any appropriation contained in this [annual appropriation] or any other Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress.” Pub. L. No. 108-7, Div. J, Tit. VI, § 626, 117 Stat. 11, 470 (2003).