Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Media and Banksters Don’t Understand Protesters…

I made the mistake of turning on GE’s subsidiary, CNBC News, for a minute – just to dull my senses and to practice my condescending eye rolls. Hey, what can I say, I’ve been feeling a little out of practice . At any rate, what I saw was a short segment showing the thousands of protesters blocking the streets in downtown Chicago in front of the Banker’s Association convention.

Bank protesters descend on downtown Chicago

Thousands of people shut down streets in downtown Chicago for about an hour today as they protested the American Bankers Association convention.

"We are at a crossroads in this country," said Thomas Balanoff, president of the Service Employees International Union Illinois Council. "There shouldn't just be recovery at the top, there should be a recovery for everyone. The people are angry and they want the banks to be held accountable."

People chanted, held signs and cheered on speakers that included local workers, clergy and union activists. It was organized by union organizers, human rights groups and advocacy groups.

At about the 10:30 a.m., the northbound lanes of Michigan Avenue were closed as the protesters marched across the bridge and gathered near Pioneer Court. The streets were reopened by 11:30 a.m.

The demonstrators had arrived in buses on Upper Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue just south of the Chicago River.

Then, the ever vigilant CNBS reporter introduces her two guests to discuss why the demonstrations are occurring . She hypothesizes that it’s not just bankers that are drawing the people’s ire, but it’s also CEO’s in general. And who do they invite to discuss the protests? Why, an analyst with Moody’s Economy.com, a subdivision of Moody’s rating agency, of course, who else would they invite, someone with no conflicts of interest? In his favor, he did admit that the banksters deserve the attention, but he certainly doesn’t illuminate the role his own parent company had/has in the current fiscal debacle:

Of course us peons wouldn’t recognize a moral hazard if one bit us in the ass, right? Or would we? I think I do, and I think the media is a huge part of the problem. I know that I don’t even need to point out the moral and ethical conundrum created by the ratings agencies like Moody’s and the role they played in creating the very crisis that now leads to protests. Needless to say, CNBC did not point out Moody’s conflicts of interests in rating the banks (via their pay for ratings model) that are the very subject of the protests, nor did she mention what a colossal failure their ratings were and still are . Oh, and Moody’s, by the way, is paid by GE to rate GE, the parent of CNBC.

Somehow I doubt that any real solutions are going to come from bankers, the media, politicians, or the ratings agencies. Keep up the fine protests, it’s a target rich environment, how ‘bout CNBC’s offices or Moody’s headquarters?

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Ace – How Long: