Monday, November 16, 2009

Boutique Journalism - WTF - Beware!

You have got to be careful about what you think you see on news lists on the Internet. You might see a story as being posted under a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or the New York Times (NYT) and you might assume that the story will be of high quality. There was a time when the WSJ and the NYT were considered the Rolls Royces of Journalism. But looks can be deceptive these days. Look under the hood.

There are very well known ritzy department stores in New York that have a decades old name for quality and they bank on it for tourists to visit. I was surprised when somebody told that the floor space on the main floor of one of these famous named stores, a lot of the counter spaces and racks of clothes were auctioned off to individual companies to sell and supply perfume and fancy clothes.

The ritzy department store is like the old indoors farmers’ markets and renting stalls to individual retailers. The ritzy store gets upfront rent and or a percent of receipts as recorded off the online cash registers. This new Boutique Retailing is not like the original smallness and intimacy of the traditional Boutique retail outlet. Such is the modern world. - And you get to take your stuff home in a ritzy label shopping bag.

Borrowing from the new Boutique Retailing of some major department stores, so too once fancy ritzy reputation newspapers seem to be renting stalls or their columns to outside retailers or in this case “Journalists”.

One such example I believe is this put down of American workers and their wages.

American Wages Out of Balance

That compared to overseas deregulated labor:
The global wage gap has been narrowing, but recent labor market statistics in the United States suggest the adjustment has not gone far enough.

One indicator is unemployment, which has risen unexpectedly rapidly. The 7.3 million jobs lost are more than triple the 2 million during the 1980-82 recession. Some of that huge increase reflects the sharp decline in gross domestic product, but there could be another factor: the recession shows that many workers are paid more than they’re worth.


The big trade deficit is another sign of excessive pay for Americans. One explanation for the attractive prices of imported goods is that American workers are paid too much relative to their foreign peers.
Real comforting to see something like this on the business page of the New York Times.

But if one looks closely you can see that the three “reporters” are not employed directly by the NYT but – is this a subsidiary of NYT or is the NYT merely renting a stall in its indoor farmer’s market of “Journalism”?

I have been caught in eye-catching headlines marked WSJ – Wall Street Journal on the Internet only to be disappointed by a blog or opinion page – not journalism but opinion on right wing conservative political topics. The punditocracy is everywhere. Facts do not count anymore. It is all paid for opinion.

To add insult to injury to the American Worker on the above mentioned Boutique Journalism article about how “American Wages (are) Out of Balance”, The Pundit Boutique Journalists go on to say that no crimes were committed on Wall Street with the collapse for the Wall Street Ponzi. Some mere mistakes were made by honest but gullible Hedge Fund Manager types.
The case against two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, was the closest anything came to a trial over Wall Street’s role in the financial crisis. Their acquittal suggests that blame is not easily apportioned — and that mistakes, not conspiracies, offer the more likely explanation.
Bullshit and propaganda I can understand in a rag like the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) now that is owned by Rupert Murdock. But the New York Times – The New York Times – ??? Geez!

These Boutique journalists – their webpage describe themselves as : is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. has 22 correspondents and columnists based in London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Washington and Madrid. Our aim is to become the lingua franca for the global financial community.

"Our real-time subscription service currently reaches around 15,000 financial professionals such as investment bankers, senior corporate executives, hedge fund managers, lawyers and private equity professionals. We reach a broader audience of nearly 4.5m investors and opinion-formers via columns in the following influential newspapers and magazines: The New York Times (USA), The Telegraph (UK), The International Herald Tribune, Le Monde (France), El Pais and Cinco Dias (Spain), Handelsblatt (Germany), La Stampa (Italy), NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), Nikkei Veritas (Japan). Caijing (China) The National (UAE), The Business Times (Singapore), The Business Standard (India) and L’Agefi (Switzerland)."
Journalism in America appears to have been outsourced like every other honest real job that used to be on this soil. Now we only have “opinion-formers” for the MBA types in this case.

This piece about wages in America being too high comes just before Thanksgiving and the need for management to consider Christmas Bonuses and raises in the new year.

With a quotation from the New York Times telling management that wages are too high and Americans are paid too much - this will not justify even a 1% raise for the Bob Crachits of this world. These quotations above from a “NYT Article” in Boardrooms will no doubt ruin many a Tiny Tims’ Christmas.

Have a nice day. Humbug!

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