media spin

Too Big To Fail is a Corporate Lobbyist Front Group

TPM Muckraker has done a nice call out on a lobbyist front group Too Big To Fail, using some fairly sophisticated confusion tactics to basically block any financial reform.

But as TPMmuckraker has looked into the group, every indication is that Stop Too Big To Fail is an astroturf operation funded by corporate interests to give the appearance of grassroots opposition to reform.

Gets better. They managed to get blog posts on our classic libeeraaal political sites.

Stop Too Big To Fail's $1.6 million ad campaign, which is targeting Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), asks viewers to tell their senators, "vote against this phony 'financial reform.' Support real reform, stop 'too big to fail.'"

The Bloomberg Spin on Housing Starts

Bloomberg is consistently spinning economic indicators. Today's headline, U.S. Economy: Single-Family Home Starts Rise for Fifth Month.

Thank God for the Internets, because these days, you can check the Press releases for yourself.

Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 490,000; this is 1.7 percent (±7.1%)* above the revised June figure of 482,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 80,000.

Ok, firstly 1.7% isn't that much but the biggest thing here is the margin of error, 7.1%! And that asterisk?

* 90% confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.

ISM Index in the Spin Zone - Contracted

Increasingly we are seeing major financial reporting being in the spin zone. Here is what Bloomberg headlined on the ISM non-manufacturing index June 2009 report:

U.S. ISM Service Industries Index Increased to 47

U.S. service industries from retailers to homebuilders contracted last month at the slowest pace in nine months, as measures of new orders and employment improved.

The reality is the economy contracted for the 9th straight month. Bloomberg even goes so far as to claim this is stabilization:

AIG to Reduce Debt - What?

The headlines are ablaze with N.Y. Fed to Trim AIG Debt, Receive $25 Billion Stake in Two Subsidiaries:

American International Group announced yesterday that it has reached a deal to reduce its debt to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York by $25 billion.

Under the agreement, AIG will split off AIA and Alico into separate company-owned entities called "special purpose vehicles," or SPVs. The New York Fed will receive preferred shares now valued at $25 billion -- $16 billion in AIA and $9 billion in Alico -- and in exchange will forgive an equal amount of AIG debt.