Financial Times

By Tom Blumer | May 23, 2014 | 6:57 PM EDT

French economist Thomas Piketty has become a darling of the left for allegedly "proving" that, as paraphrased by Chris Giles at the Financial Times, "wealth inequalities are heading back up to levels last seen before the first world war." The Media Research Center's Julia Seymour has described Piketty as a "'rock star' of the far-left," an accurate assessment given praises heaped upon his book and especially his public policy prescriptions by the likes of Alternet and Vox's especially gullible Matthew Yglesias. Seymour also notes that Piketty's work has received a great deal of favorable notice in the establishment press, and that he has met "with the Treasury Secretary" and "(President) Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers."

Of course these "oligarch groupies," as Jeffrey Lord describes them, love him. Piketty favors an 80 percent tax on incomes above $500,000 and a progressive global tax on real wealth (i.e., after subtracting debt). The problem is that FT's Giles, having done a deep dive into the economist's data and spreadsheets, has found serious problems in the professor's work which nullify his conclusions.

By Ken Shepherd | October 9, 2012 | 4:31 PM EDT

Islamist radicals affiliated with the Taliban shot and critically wounded Malala Yousafzai yesterday. The Financial Times notes that Yousafzai is "a 14-year-old Pakistani activist who won international acclaim for speaking out for girls denied education under the Taliban." Yousafzai was wounded in the leg from a shot fired at her as she left school on Tuesday.

Yousafzai's shooting was the third item in a news brief aired 10 minutes before the close of Andrea Mitchell's 1 p.m. Eastern program:

By Tom Blumer | September 27, 2011 | 1:19 PM EDT

The Conference Board's September Consumer Confidence Survey came out this morning. Overall, it rose very slightly from a miserable 45.2 to a still-miserable 45.4. Consumers' assessment of near-term prospects slid from 34.3 to in August to 32.5, while their longer-term outlook improved from 52.4 to 54.0.

At the Associated Press (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio characterized the element of the report relating to jobs thusly:

By Tom Blumer | February 26, 2011 | 9:18 PM EST

Thursday, an odd warning emanated from the halls of the supposedly esteemed investment firm known as Goldman Sachs: If Uncle Sam spends $61 billion less during the second half of the current fiscal year, and ends the year with "only" $3.758 trillion in spending instead of the administration's anticipated $3.819 trillion, economic growth will be seriously harmed.

Yesterday, similar nonsense was put forth by Jeannine Aversa at the Associated Press in reaction to the government's report that economic growth during the fourth quarter was revised down to 2.8% from 3.2%, when experts (like the geniuses at Goldman) had expected the number to come in at 3.3%. The headlined whine: "State and local budget cuts are slowing US economy."

First, here is the Financial Times report carried at CNBC reporting on Goldman's federal spending gibberish:

By Tim Graham | September 11, 2010 | 7:33 AM EDT

George W. Bush may be almost two years removed from his White House tenure, but the haters are still at work.

Gay Marxist playwright Tony Kushner is the toast of London theatre right now for his series of five small plays called "Tiny Kushner." Included in the set is a reprise of his piece titled "Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy," featuring Laura Bush reading Dostoyevsky to the ghosts of dead Iraqi children. (Byron York offered enough of a summary here.) In an interview with the leftist U.K. Guardian newspaper, Kushner demonstrated his hatred is undiminished:

"I wrote it after I was arrested at the big anti-invasion rally outside the United Nations in 2003," he says. "I left feeling immensely depressed because I knew we had left it too late to make a difference. And then a couple of days later, Bush said that he was grateful to us, because we had offered him a 'focus group'. I hate that motherf---er, but for once the man incapable of using the English language had hit on something apt: that's what the progressive left in America was reduced to, a focus group."

By contrast, Kushner expressed patience with Barack Obama, even as he proclaimed that the insights of Karl Marx are proven in America daily:

By Tom Blumer | February 22, 2010 | 4:39 AM EST

ToyotaAndHatchets0210If the goal of whoever leaked the contents of a presentation originally made internally at Toyota's Washington, DC offices and turned over to congressional investigators was to drum up an intense level of negative press coverage against the company, they can sit back and say, "Mission accomplished."

It seems to have started Sunday with David Shepardson of the Detroit News, who reported that the company had "bragged" about avoiding recall costs. Though he appears to have erroneously believed that he had the whole thing, Shepardson's "evidence" consisted of only ten of that presentation's sixteen (or possibly more) pages with a couple of references to "wins." His report was picked and spread widely by the Associated Press's Ken Thomas, who turned "bragged" into "boasted."

But as I wrote in my post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) reacting to their work last night:

By Matthew Philbin | February 3, 2010 | 2:22 PM EST

Only a liberal could imagine that addressing the federal deficit and creating jobs might be mutually exclusive. On MSNBC's Feb. 3 "Morning Joe," Chrystia Freeland of The Financial Times asked Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., whether she agreed with President Obama's stated intention of addressing the deficit next year.

"Senator, we've also heard from the president that next year - in his budget for next year - he is going to be focusing on deficit reduction, and he thinks its gonna be time be worried about that," Freeland said. "Is that too soon? Are you worried that the president should really be focusing right now still on stimulating the economy?"

Stabenow took the cue to launch into anti-Bush boilerplate. "Well we have to be focused on both and it's tough," she said. "I mean this president not only inherited the biggest deficit we've ever had, but the biggest deficit in jobs that we've ever had. We've got over 15 million people without jobs right now - bread winners no longer able to bring in a pay check."

By Noel Sheppard | December 10, 2009 | 10:03 AM EST

Did you know that if you don't believe man is responsible for global warming you're a prehistoric cavedweller completely unaware of what's going on in the world?

So said MSNBC's Chris Matthews during a discussion on Wednesday's "Hardball" when he referred to Sarah Palin and everybody else that doesn't agree with Nobel Laureate Al Gore's view of climate change as "troglodytes."

"She`s got to be smarter than this," argued Matthews despite complaining moments later about how the former governor gives autographs: "She doesn`t write the book, and then she scribbles some indecipherable sign on the book as a signature."

Sharing this lowly opinion of the former vice presidential candidate were the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson who called Palin's op-ed about climate change in his own paper Wednesday "a mess," and the Financial Times' Chrystia Freeland who said Palin's views on this subject were "radical" and "dangerous."

Add it all up and "Hardball" viewers were treated to quite a Palin hatefest (video embedded below the fold courtesy our friend at Story Balloon, partial transcript):

By Mark Finkelstein | November 10, 2009 | 8:12 AM EST

Of all the things that might give you comfort in the wake of Nidal Malik Hasan's murderous rampage, where would you rate the news that the military's commitment to "diversity

By Jeff Poor | August 29, 2009 | 7:42 AM EDT

It's no secret the print newspaper industry is struggling. It's become all too common to hear that papers, like the Christian Science Monitor or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, have ceased publishing a print edition and gone completely online.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed this challenge and its impact on a government at the Aspen Institute's Forum on Communications and Society earlier this month. According to Albright, the fourth estate was intended to keep government in check and that countries without a free press tend to be authoritarian societies.

"Let me just say, in terms of Democracy and the free press, I think it is absolutely an essential part and all we have to do is go back and look at our Constitution," Albright said. "But I have looked at this from a number of different angles. When I was an academic, wrote about the role of the press internationally in political change. And there is no question in my mind, in terms of authoritarian societies, if you do not have information, you can't operate and it is power."

By Lynn Davidson | April 3, 2009 | 3:05 PM EDT

Ever notice the media love to report stories about people fighting the power, unless, of course, the power happens to be something the media favor?

A March 31 New York Times article about Cuba's Havana Biennial art festival highlighted several artists whose political statements were in line with the anti-American, communist outlook of the island's regime, while ignoring prominent Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, who risked her freedom to protest government oppression.

During an open mic session at the festival, the award-winning Generacion Y blogger criticized Cuban policy and the lack of free expression. However, the Times did not mention her pro-free speech performance art or even cover it in a separate piece. Instead, most of the artists the paper described railed against the usual evils, such as capitalism, America and the bourgeoisie.

Afterwards, the government issued a condemnation that singled out Sanchez for “staging a provocation against the Cuban Revolution.” Fortunately, on Wednesday, Reuters reported the controversy:

By Mark Finkelstein | January 12, 2009 | 9:00 AM EST

The exquisite moral sensibilities of the MSM . . .

Would you waterboard an al Qaeda member for three minutes to get information to save the lives of nine passenger-loads of innocent civilians?  Chrystia Freeland wouldn't.  The US managing editor of the Financial Times made the stunning statement during the course of a classic Morning Joe dust-up today.  Joe Scarborough, with help from tag-team partner Pat Buchanan, went after Freeland on her opposition to waterboarding and similar interrogation techniques. At one point Scarborough called Freeland "sophomoric."  Later, the exasperated MJ host gave his guest some of the same treatment to which he'd recently been subjected by Zbigniew Brzezinski, telling Freeland "you have no idea what you're talking about."

Finally, under questioning from Buchanan, Freeland went so far as to disagree with the proposition that it would be moral to waterboard someone for three minutes to get information to foil a plot to simultaneously kill nine passenger planeloads of people.