In case you missed it, quiet financial newspaper Barron’s took a huge swipe at Obama in its latest cover, promising that if he got his way, the US would be on the road to Greece.
Let’s skip the actual contents of the argument for a moment. For example, let’s skip the arbitrariness of the “25 years” warning, and the fact that the US monetary system is nothing like Greece’s. And let’s ignore the fact that the sequester (which is what Barron’s is advocating as the “responsible course”) does nothing to alter the long-term fiscal trajectory of the country.
Of course it’s all silliness.
But the real point here is that Barron’s isn’t so much a newspaper, but rather a mass-market stock tips newsletter — note the columns on the left about Rochester Medical and Linn Energy.
And there’s a very wide overlap between investment newsletter services, and cranky, anti-debt, armageddonism. It’s part of the pitch. If you’ve ever read a copy of Jim Grant’s “Interest Rate Observer” or Marc Faber’s “Boom, Doom, Gloom Report” you’ll find it’s basically divided into two parts:
First you get the author giving their big pronouncement on the world (E.G., Bernanke is ruining the dollar! All of this debt can only lead to WWIII!).
Then after that, you get your stock and bond and commodity tips, usually free from politics or philosophy.
People always want to be told a story. And the doom story tends to have appeal among the older, conservative readers of these publications.
Barron’s has always been a conservative publication, but a cover like this is just a natural move for a stock tips newsletter.