DOW Jones vs. Successful Economy

I watch far too much US cable news. As I am in Canada, it is primarily CNN. However, since we are a part of the new world, I have access via Internet to most other outlets (i.e. Fox, CNBC, etc). These ceaseless voices provide an effective alternative to a white noise generator.

While it has likely been happening much longer, I have noticed that the airheads (talking heads?) have taken in the last months to reviewing political performance by its immediate effect on the stock market, as represented by the DOW. This is not a purely US observation, as even in Canada some airheads (reporters?) have tracked the PM’s success to the TSX.

There are a few things about this that confuse me. They include, in no particular order:

  1. Do stock indices immediately reflect political actions? Is their immediate reaction a rational response?
  2. Are the objectives of the brokers and traders reflective of government wisdom?
  3. Whose interest does the market reflect? I wonder this because of years of watching the market defy expectation – Good news bad, bad news good.
  4. Have the analysts who make recommendations for the major traders become more accuarate? I assume that there might be some improvement required since the analysts are Bears and Lehman did not do such a great job.

There are more questions but I am sure that everyone has their own list.

What astounds me is the way that the airheads have internalized this concept and do their best to bring more talking heads to add to the feedback loop.

As an aside, it is a pleasure watching Wolf Blitzer on CNN. He may have been, at some time, an excellent journalist. Now he is a walking, talking version of Chicken Little. If the news is a bit good, he is exuberant. A bit bad, terrified. Everything is a panic. If asked what face should be used for a caricature of cable news, it would be Wolf. I wish him well, he seems to be what his audience wants.