Bloomberg TV

Monday, June 27, 2005

"We're Not Suckers Here"

I was watching commodities guru Jim Rogers being interviewed on Bloomberg Voices this morning. He hit the nail on the head when he mentioned that cable business news channels tend to be incorrigible trend followers. Whether it's the Japan bubble, the dot-com bubble, or the current housing bubble, these channels like to stoke the flames of whatever is hot. Of course, the party ends sooner or later, and the mess left behind is never pretty.

Bloomberg host Bernie Lo countered Rogers' criticism by saying that his channel avoided most of CNBC's excessive boosterism, and Rogers kind of agreed. When Bloomberg was mentioned in the same breath as CNBC, Bernie Lo made my day by comically retorting, "We're not suckers here." Maybe so. Bloomberg is not such a blatant rah-rah for its audience is, as I've mentioned before, composed more of finance professionals and less of casual investors who piled in during the go-go days of the Clinton era. I was reminded of CNBC's rose-tinted bias just last Friday when the data on durable goods orders was released. These CNBC hosts were yakking about how great the 5.5% reported increase was when it was made up largely of one-time orders by Boeing; net of transportation, the figure was actually -0.2%. Sure enough, the Dow Jones promptly fell 123.60 points, and even Boeing went down $1.29.

Yet, you can't get away from the fact that Bloomberg features a lot of guests nowadays from the homebuilding industry. Whether it's Pulte Homes, Toll Brothers, or Fannie Mae, the song remains the same: the housing market is great, no "bubble" worries here. Their certitude is worrying, and Jim Rogers' advice about commodities should definitely be considered. The "flippers" who try to make a quick buck by buying houses just to sell them again should heed Burt Bacharach's wisdom pronto:

A house is not a home when there's no one there to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight

Posted by Emmanuel |

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At 1:06 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Actually, Bernie Lo left CNBC in 2001 to join Bloomberg; hence the humor. I only found this out now for I wasn't in Asia during his stint at CNBC.

At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work at BB during the run up of the internet bubble... although there was a small group of journos and guests preaching caution, they were drowned out by the crowd of promoters, including a few shysters (I forget the names, but at least one went to jail). Part of it was the overall rah-rah associated with getting ratings, but the thing everyone forgets is that BB has another built in incentive to be boosters... the TV station is a money pit, the terminal makes all the profits... hence bring on the CEO, butter him up and then sell him some terminals and whatever you do, don't insult the guest by questioning him about the crappy pick he's touting. That might sound crazy, but it was clearly articulated as a strategy back in the late 90's.


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