The book’s tag line is, “Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.” It begins by going through the history of how Americans became hooked on investing as a way of making money, starting with the rise of IRAs (and fall of pensions) as worker compensation at the end of the 1970s.
Olen’s point is that we’re not rewarding Americans enough for working for decades and saving their money responsibly, instead we’re glorifying risk. On top of that, now there’s a whole industry built around risking you money — one that presents all sorts of so-called “answers.”
CNBC, the world’s leading financial network, got a lot of flack in last night’s interview, and it gets grilled even worse in the book for being an irresponsible cheerleader and promoter of all kinds of investment schemes.
Here’s what Olen says about the rise of CNBC on page 144 of her book:
As for the now ubiquitous CNBC, its origins are in the second tier Los Angeles UHF television station KWHY. In the mid-1980s, it changed its name to the Financial News network and expanded its national presence via cable. In 1991 it merged with the two-year-old broadcast outlet CNBC. Longtime political campaign consultant Roger Ailes was soon brought in to glam up the place up…Breathless stock cheerleading became the order of the day when the dot-com boom commenced, with long legged, big lipped “money honey” Maria Bartiromo reporting from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange., frantically delivering up to the minute news releases from companies and analysts alike.
Tough, and here’s what Olen said in last night’s interview (around 4:35):
“… Bloomberg is running a more respectable operation, they’re not even tracked by Nielsen …CNBC is selling hope, they’re selling ‘we have the answers, follow us, we’ll tell you the secrets.’ What it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone watching it is a couple hundred of thousands of people are watching the same thing at the same time. So even if it’s accurate, which often it is not, they’re not going to get in anything good.
And then Stewart broke in:
You know what they should call one of their shows? Pssttt
Watch the video below:
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