Business media not good at calling end to trends
by Chris Roush
TheStreet.com’s Marek Fuchs writes Wednesday that the business media is typically wrong when it attempts to call the end to a trend. One example, he notes, was the coverage of the housing bubble, which many in the business journalism field predicted would pop about seven years ago.
The latest example, he says, is a Wall Street Journal story wondering whether the end to dealmaking is near.
Fuchs wrote, “Let’s go ahead and count how many were surveyed on whether the buyout market was about to pop in this story. Henry Kravis, Timothy Collins, the CEO of Ripplewood Holdings. Carlyle Group Co-Founder David Rubenstein, a managing partner at KPS Capital Partners, and to round it out, a founding partner from Blackstone and TPG.
“That’s a total of five.
“It surpasses the upper end of the norm in these situations (four), but I think you get the picture. The article, however, doesn’t. It legitimizes the scale of its sample, even as it argues against the more negative conclusions that are already refuted by all the buyout articles surrounding it.
“Wrote the Journal: ‘The industry has seen this divide before.’ So now it’s a divide. A true divide. Just like before, when, most likely, four or five other people with divergent opinions were rounded up in one story.
“By the way, one of the reasons The Business Press Maven and others are on the lookout for legitimate signs of the ending of all this is the assumption that many lame stocks are being propped up by takeover hopes. Take that rug out from under them and, well, use your imagination.”
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