Where the Bubbles Are
ProPublica's Jesse Eisinger has been awarded a column in the New York Times, which explains that ProPublica "produces investigative journalism in the public interest." The formulation makes one wonder in whose interest the rest of journalism is published in.
The first column explains, "The Russell 2000 stock index, which is made up of smaller companies, has risen about 21 percent since the beginning of September, when investors started to anticipate that the Fed would intervene in an aggressive fashion."
And here we had thought the run up in stocks wasn't purely because of the Fed but because of the anticipation that Republicans would win big in November's election and push through extensions of tax cuts. Silly us.
More from the debut column: "Is this the price society has to pay for a better economy? Do we care if some hedge fund managers get rich as long as unemployment goes down, fewer people get thrown out of their homes and household debts are less crushing? That would be a worthwhile tradeoff. But it's far from clear that the Fed can get any real traction with its policies."
What's the "tradeoff"? Mr. Eisinger's "journalism in the public interest" seems to involve a baseline desire to prevent hedge fund managers from getting rich. Or at least from getting as rich as junk mortgage king and queen Herb and Marion Sandler, who pay Mr. Eisinger's salary by providing the bulk of ProPublica's budget.
I share Mr. Eisinger's skepticism of the Fed's move, but not out of any concern that — heaven forfend!— someone might get rich because of it.
The broader point is, that as the New York Times can't afford to fill its own pages with journalism it generates itself, it is increasingly turning to non-profit news organizations to fill the gap, cutting deals for Chicago coverage with the Chicago News Cooperative, for Texas coverage with the Texas Tribune, and for San Francisco Bay Area coverage with the Bay Area News Project. And now ProPublica has a column in the business section.
The Times is left-wing enough on its own that it may not make sense to worry about the ideology of the nonprofits filtering into the news coverage. And the Times is already doing its best in its own fashion to prevent hedge fund managers from getting rich; just ask Harbinger's Philip Falcone; his fund owned nearly 10% of the New York Times and yet the paper can't even spell his name right, let alone give him a decent return on his investment.
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