Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whose Recovery?

The optimism in the lead paragraph for this morning’s market report on the BBC News Web site is almost palpable:

Shares in the US and Europe have seen big gains following a raft of strong company results which have boosted hopes of a sustained economic recovery.

One might think this actually means something;  but, as always, the devil is in the details.  At least the BBC had the good sense to keep those details above the fold (in the Web-based sense of that term of art):

Companies such as Goldman Sachs, Intel and IBM reported strong results on Tuesday, and results from Apple and American Express are due on Wednesday.

Are we really supposed to take these decidedly elite data points as grounds for “hopes of a sustained economic recovery?”  Let’s not kid ourselves.  If anyone has experienced any sense of recovery, it has been the high-stakes shareholders, who have never had any serious concerns since they realized that the government would take care of them with bailout money.  All those people in line for any job they can get from McDonald’s, featured on last night’s local news here in San Francisco, do not have the word “recovery” in their working vocabulary, nor do those on (or over) the brink of foreclosure on their homes.

I appreciate that news organizations need to provide thorough business reporting, but those stories are ultimately aimed at an elite class of readers.  I can appreciate that The Wall Street Journal only cares about that class.  However, do we not have reason to expect a broader point of view from those sources that have been established for the rest of us?

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