Why The Wall Street Journal Is THE WORST Business Publication You Could Possibly Read

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Tue, 2007-09-04 11:33.
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The sub-prime mortgage meltdown has been in the news a lot lately.

A Wall Street Journal article (8/14/07) recently recounted tales of some of the people who’ve gotten caught in the cross-fire.

One woman applied for and was given a $1 million mortgage on her house in Marietta, Georgia. It was a typical come-on deal. Low interest upfront with a “piggy back” loan priced at 12%. Her payments have since jumped to $8,200 a month.

The idea was that she’d refinance later at more favorable terms. Well, later has come and not only is the house no longer valued at $1 mil (appraisals are coming in at $890,000 and less), but also the banks are no longer interested in “no down” loans. Now they want her to put up significant cash to get a new fixed 30 year loan.

— Say what?!

Anyway, the part of the article that jumped out at me was what she borrowed the money for: according to the article “to help fund a start-up that sells a patented fishing-rod holder.” Not surprisingly, the investment has not paid off.

What amazes me is not that this individual made such an investment - disastrous small business investments are made all the time - but that the Journal only mentions the deal in passing.

Granted this was an article about fallout from the sub-prime loan debacle, but still…$1 million in cash invested in a start-up…that sells a fishing rod holder?

To me that’s like glossing over the fact the person you’re interviewing has three heads or an extra arm.

— The cost of poor education

This speaks to the bizarre illiteracy that manifests itself daily in so-called business journalism. The same guys who write about what Rupert Murdoch is doing seem to be absolutely clueless when it comes to the mechanics of real business.I don’t know whether it’s deliberate or their “big business” bias is so strong they just don’t see how dumb they (the reporters) are. Probably the latter.

But God help anybody who is trying to get a picture of how business really works from reading the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes or any of those rags.

Where do people learn the realities of business?

The school of hard knocks…an experienced friend or relative…or taking a chance on the seminar merry-go-round.

It’s a testament to the tenacity of small business owners everywhere that anyone succeeds in creating a profitable business in this kind of information-starved environment.

[ Via - Ken McCarthy]

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