The other side of the coin
By Alan Steel
Last week did you notice the much publicised spat between Glasgow Rangers Football Club and the BBC? It was widely reported - mostly by the BBC themselves - that the football club announced it was withdrawing all co-operation with the broadcaster.
In a statement issued by Rangers FC they said they were withdrawing their co-operation over what they said were repeated difficulties with the broadcaster this year.
They also claim there were several instances of reporting on Rangers from the BBC that had been "neither accurate nor fair". And they also claimed that a BBC documentary which was aired on Thursday night was "a prejudiced muck raking exercise".
Remarkably the BBC replied to the allegation saying that it placed "absolute value" on its "accuracy and impartiality at all times".
I did watch the programme on Thursday night which, on the face of it, didn't put the football club or its new owner in a good light, but it was a rather one-sided documentary given that it would appear those from the football club had refused to comment.
But I have to say my experience as an independent financial adviser and as a consumer over the last few years leaves me astonished the BBC should claim to be accurate and fair at all times. Because that's just not the case.
Back in early 2009 when markets were falling and pension schemes were in a bit of temporary trouble, we were asked by the Corporation to comment on the situation, but only if we agreed with their view that the world was coming to an end, and Pensions were in trouble. We didn't take that view. So we weren't included in the broadcast. No balance there then.
At the beginning of August this year, it was widely reported by them that an indicator no-one had heard of before - the Philly FED Index - had plummeted by a record ever level, and this in turn led to dramatic falls in World Stockmarkets.
Of course they omitted to mention this was the seventeenth time this had happened since the mid '70s and on every previous occasion World Stockmarkets had bounced upwards by significant levels over the following 12 months.
So I wonder how long it will be before the BBC report the same Index that produced the shocking negative surprise in early August has produced yet another surprise - but in the opposite direction. Yes, the Index has just jumped 26.2 points, the biggest monthly increase in 31 years and the fourth largest on record.
Economists who like the BBC seem to wallow in reporting only bad news, yet again have been silenced by this huge positive bounce. But they're usually wrong anyway. And so far have under estimated recent US corporate profits by at least 100%. Oh dear!
For investors the position is becoming clearer. The US is not in recession, despite what's reported on Radio, Television and in London based national newspapers. And neither incidentally is the World economy in recession either.
I had to laugh the other day when the stockmarket allegedly fell because Chinese GDP growth had apparently slipped to only 9.1% increase over the previous year. Putting that into perspective, at the end of last year it was estimated that Chinese GDP, or income if you prefer, stood at US $6 trillion.
So a 9.1% increase comes to something like US $540 billion. That's almost double the entire value of Greece's economy. And if the UK GDP had posted such an increase it would represent a percentage increase of over 23%. Imagine if that happened!
So why the main news networks are obsessed by only bad news and not the good - and what their agenda is - is beyond me. As I've said many times before it's what they're not reporting that gives us hope for the future.
Alan Steel Asset Management