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Who is Really Making Money? Part III

Stock-Markets / Market Manipulation Mar 16, 2009 - 08:36 PM GMT

By: Mike_Stathis

Stock-Markets Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleIn Part II of this series, I discussed how Don Luskin serves as one of the biggest Wall Street hacks on TV. This is specifically why Larry Kudlow has him on his pro-Wall Street, neo-conservatism show. I demonstrated just how dedicated Luskin is towards this mission by discussing his ever so timely op-ed in the Washington Post. So let me finish where I left off.


Mr. Luskin, congratulations. That op-ed will probably make history books some day as an example of why many U.S. newspapers went bankrupt. It certainly marks you as a fool. But don't think of that piece as the clincher. You've had many appearances on Kudlow (your fellow hack buddy) that labeled you a fool and hack prior to that.

A couple of days after the Post published Luskin's bull, Debra Sanders of the San Francisco Chronicle decided to highlight her ignorance with a follow-up to Luskin's op-ed on September 18, 2008 titled, “Just don't call the U.S. economy solid.” Let's have a look.

“John McCain was right when he said Monday that despite the bad news about Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy and AIG trolling for help from Uncle Sam, "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." As politicians running for the White House learn, honesty is a commodity best used sparingly on the campaign trail. Voters apparently believe that America is in a terrible recession - even though the gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.3 percent last quarter and grew by some 0.09 percent in 2008's first quarter. When the public is in full panic mode, McCain could take a lesson from Barack Obama, who is running ahead of the stampede.

On the campaign trail Wednesday, Obama bemoaned "the most serious financial crisis in generations." He said the exact same words the day before.

You can tell it's the most serious financial crisis in generations because the unemployment rate is 6.1 percent - which, The Chronicle reports, represents a "five-year high." When the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent rate in July that was a "four-year high." The Associated Press reports that the number of troubled banks is also at a "five-year high." Five-year highs? These are the statistics that herald the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?

Remember last month when oil, having hit the price of $145 per barrel, was the issue on which the election would hinge? Forget it. Oil is now selling at below $100 per barrel, but that bit of good news is buried in the deluge of doom-and-gloom reports.

"The most serious financial crisis in generations?"

Donald Luskin, a chief investment officer with the Menlo Park investment research firm TrendMacrolytics and an economic adviser to McCain - who tells me he has never talked to McCain - remarked that if Obama "had a little bit more experience," he would "put these things in more context." Luskin has lived through five or six recessions, and "this ain't one."

It isn't a recession because the U.S. economy has grown in both of the last two quarters. Read: It is not receding. And while Luskin sees the unemployment rate as "a little high," it is "not as high as it typically is in a recession." Yes, Luskin is concerned about inflation, now at 5.4 percent. The drop in oil prices may help.

Of course, it should be of concern to taxpayers that Uncle Sam has had to bail out AIG with an $85 billion loan, to shore up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to facilitate JP Morgan's purchase of Bear Stearns to the tune of $30 billion. Also, the drop in home prices and rise in foreclosures - thanks to rapacious lending practices - has hit many families in their biggest asset.

Let me add, life's no picnic when you work in the shrinking newspaper industry.

The fact that the economy has grown despite all of the above - and 9/11 and an unrelenting Democratic campaign to talk this economy down - is proof that the fundamentals of the American economy are strong.”

The answer, of course, is that Democrats can't win without trashing the economy. As Luskin pointed out in a piece in Sunday's Washington Post, in Obama's famed anti-Iraq war speech back in 2002, the then-Illinois state senator suggested the war was waged "to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression."

In fact, the stock market had four bigger one-month drops since the Great Depression, but facts don't matter. The winning candidate in 2008 may well be the man who can say the worst things about the American economy. That's how he shows he really cares.

E-mail: dsaunders@sfchronicle.com .

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/18/EDA112VOOH.DTL

  It's clear Sanders has no idea this data is all bogus. She's like most incompetent journalists, who assume the data must be right. It's an assumption of convenience many journalists use in order to promote their political agendas. Do yourself a favor. Email her and let her know what you think. You better believe I did. This is my favorite line…

“Let me add, life's no picnic when you work in the shrinking newspaper industry.”

Attention Sanders, you idiot. The industry is shrinking because Americans want valuable content. They're sick of irresponsible journalism slanted towards the interests of corporate sponsors and political candidates. I find it ironic how Sanders was moaning about the “shrinking newspaper industry” while her trash is contributing to the problem. Even more ironic, just a few months later the Chronicle announced the likelihood of bankruptcy. Apparently, the media's strategy of delivering trash while promoting agendas is failing miserably. The entire industry is facing huge financial problems, from newspapers and publishers to radio and TV. And I must admit…I love it.

A few decades ago, journalists actually researched the validity of commentaries and data delivered by uneducated pseudo-intellectuals like Luskin, in order to minimize the spread of propaganda. Of course, there was still a considerable amount of propaganda back then. It just didn't rival that found in Nazi Germany as it does today.

Ultimately, we can make the media responsible. If you stop subscribing, if you stop watching, if you stop listening, they will be forced to provide valuable content. If you don't stop watching and listening, you will get screwed over and over until you have nothing left.

Now let me get back to CNBC. In Part I, I barely made mention of the side show act called Fast Money. I'm willing to bet my house these guys are basically failed traders. If they didn't get blown out, they wouldn't be on TV. But you have to understand the psychological tactics used by media producers. You see, these testosterone-loaded meatheads fulfill a certain market. The show takes “trading” to a new level for the wannabe traders with beer bellies, who handicap NFL games. Like the other shows on CNBC, Fast Money is nothing more than a glorified infomercial. In fact, I have recently seen infomercials that have been designed as news shows to make you think they are credible. Apparently, they learned this trick from CNBC.

I also wanted to show you another example how these networks all partner with each other. Notice on the Fast Money website http://www.cnbc.com/id/15838499/ how they throw in an endorsement from Oprah. She represents another danger to Americans.

CHECK OUT DYLAN ON OPRAH: Oprah Winfrey tells us she loves watching Dylan on CNBC. But wait until you see the Commissioner on her show!”

What a joke. In my opinion, if Oprah validates your investment show or any other show, that's a clear sign it's trash TV intended for sheep. The same goes for her book endorsements. That said, I'm willing to bet Jim Cramer has appeared on Oprah. Any takers?

Oprah has launched the careers of several mass marketers and self-proclaimed “experts” who are no more than marketing machines without a conscious, looking to sell you an empty bag dreams. But ever since receiving Oprah's “golden touch,” they've been welcomed with open arms by other networks and touted as investment experts and gurus. Why? Because millions of naïve Americans are looking for easy money.

These marketing gurus spend most of their time on various television networks trying to convince you they understand investments and real estate. In reality, they haven't made any real money from investing prior to collecting money from media appearances and fluff books. Only after making money from their marketing business do they invest. But their investments are passive because they're too busy pitching snake-oil to sheep. Anyway you look at it, they are clueless about investing. But they sure know how to take your money. Some might say they are no different than Wall Street.

These guys pimp themselves out shamelessly on TV in order to sell you investment kits, programs, books, etc. Only sheep buy this trash while failing to realize they're buying their appearance, not a valuable book, or they're buying empty promises, not some secret system to make you into a millionaire. Sorry folks, but there are no secret systems that can transform you into a millionaire overnight. And no one on earth is capable of writing quality books while spending their time marketing on TV. I know what it takes to write a quality book. It's more than a full-time job. Anyone who isn't spending at least a year full-time writing a book either has a ghost writer or is pumping out fluff.

Has anyone ever bothered to check the track record of these marketing clowns? Do they really know what they're talking about? When it comes to sales pitches, they do. But put them up against any real investment expert and they'll run in fear of being exposed for who they really are.

People, it's time to wake up. You need to stop empowering media hosts who do nothing but steer you down a blind alley. Oprah has proven over and over again that she is no different than the hacks on CNBC. The only difference between Oprah and the hacks on CNBC and FBN is that her misguided content is more due to incompetence rather than orchestrated deceit.

Simply turn off the tube and let the ratings dictate their fate. If you don't, you will remain an idiot. By watching, you're guaranteed to get burned, while boosting their ratings. By watching, you will be indirectly handing them money because you will boost their ratings while becoming brainwashed into making bad investment decisions. Now you've been warned, so you have no excuse.

Hey Oprah, stop promoting cheese balls who sell desperate people empty dreams. Start doing proper due diligence before airing your guests so you can promote real experts who have adequate qualifications, and those who truly care about helping people. Alternatively, stop having any of these “gurus” on your show altogether.

In the end, it's the people who do and say as Oprah does and says who are to blame. In the end, you are the cause of your own destruction if you're gullible enough to buy into the trash on television, radio, publications and websites. The trash hits every venue. In order to find valuable, unbiased content, you have to search long and hard.

I want to encourage all who seek the truth and valuable guidance to follow me to my new site www.avaresearch.com (coming in a few days). You won't see me pitching gold or investments to you like others. You will continue to receive nothing but unbiased top-tier insight, education and commentaries.

2

By Mike Stathis
mike@apexva.com

Copyright © 2009. All Rights Reserved. Mike Stathis.

Mike Stathis is the Managing Principal of Apex Venture Advisors , a business and investment intelligence firm serving the needs of venture firms, corporations and hedge funds on a variety of projects. Mike's work in the private markets includes valuation analysis, deal structuring, and business strategy. In the public markets he has assisted hedge funds with investment strategy, valuation analysis, market forecasting, risk management, and distressed securities analysis. Prior to Apex Advisors, Mike worked at UBS and Bear Stearns, focusing on asset management and merchant banking.

The accuracy of his predictions and insights detailed in the 2006 release of America's Financial Apocalypse and Cashing in on the Real Estate Bubble have positioned him as one of America's most insightful and creative financial minds. These books serve as proof that he remains well ahead of the curve, as he continues to position his clients with a unique competitive advantage. His first book, The Startup Company Bible for Entrepreneurs has become required reading for high-tech entrepreneurs, and is used in several business schools as a required text for completion of the MBA program.

Restrictions Against Reproduction: No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner and the Publisher. These articles and commentaries cannot be reposted or used in any publications for which there is any revenue generated directly or indirectly. These articles cannot be used to enhance the viewer appeal of any website, including any ad revenue on the website, other than those sites for which specific written permission has been granted. Any such violations are unlawful and violators will be prosecuted in accordance with these laws.

Requests to the Publisher for permission or further information should be sent to info@apexva.com

Books Published
"America's Financial Apocalypse" (Condensed Version)  http://www.amazon.com/...

"Cashing in on the Real Estate Bubble"  http://www.amazon.com/...

"The Startup Company Bible for Entrepreneurs"   http://www.amazon.com...

Disclaimer: All investment commentaries and recommendations herein have been presented for educational purposes, are generic and not meant to serve as individual investment advice, and should not be taken as such. Readers should consult their registered financial representative to determine the suitability of all investment strategies discussed. Without a consideration of each investor's financial profile. The investment strategies herein do not apply to 401(k), IRA or any other tax-deferred retirement accounts due to the limitations of these investment vehicles.

Mike Stathis Archive

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