Avoiding the Mainstream Media Trap
Ever since a Wired magazine cover story last year — identifying a 14-year-old Mexican girl as the “next Bill Gates” — I have had enormous respect for the extrasensory powers of the mainstream media.
So while planning the launch for this e-letter, I assembled a pile of recent publications from my competitors to tell me what is going on in the world — and what is to come.
Agora, my new publisher, may be larger than the New York Times and Washington Post put together. But I must try not to let that go to my head.
I wanted to learn what the mainstream news was focused on.
Here are a few featured stories I found…
Feature #1: A Boon of Creativity
Fast Company might be a fringe publication, but they immediately caught my attention with a cover presenting the “100 most creative people” in business.
After all, I’ve written scores of books and essays on entrepreneurial creativity, so that seemed right up my alley.
The most creative person, it seems, is Lisa Jackson — the lawyer who ran the EPA under Obama.
If you’re not aware of Lisa’s innovative contributions, she’s the one who banned carbon nanotubes in all consumer products. That move put my favored investment Seldon Labs out of business.
We had a carbon nanotube-based water filter that was deemed good enough to be used by special forces in Afghanistan. Yet it fell short of Lisa’s standards for the US.
From this triumph, Lisa has now moved on to Apple, creatively guiding a campaign to reduce their carbon footprint (their macro carbon emissions, not their 7 nanometer transistors).
In that effort, she is steering them toward investments in mango groves in Latin America. Pretty creative! Apple is apparently returning Silicon Valley to its original role growing fruit products.
Perhaps you should sell Apple, and buy mangoes.
Feature #2: Transfixed by Social Issues
For more solid business coverage, I turned to the eminent Sunday Business Section of the New York Times.
Surely their authoritative coverage of world business would feature Chinese ascendancy, trade conflicts, and the global debt crisis.
The big story of the week was an in-depth probe of Goldman Sachs. But it wasn’t a deep dive into the investment bank itself. Rather, it was a three-page article about a transgender employee.
The Times is clearly on a mission to become your go-to source for wealth-building ideas!
Feature #3: The “Hard Money Crisis” is Over
I then moved on to a more obvious rival, Dow Jones’ Barron’s, which covers investment news as its prime beat. Its cover story is truly shocking: “Easy Money is Back!”
I pummeled my head, trying to recall some moment of “hard money” madness.
My mind blanked. There’s been nothing but easy money in our recent history of zero real interest rates around the world, with some $13 trillion of actual negative rates.
You’re essentially paying banks to hold your money.
I must not have been paying attention when Steve Moore ascended to the Fed and used his famous debating chops to push his peers to adopt a new gold standard. Or the electrifying moment when Lewis Powell publically contemplated a bitcoin standard.
Anyway, the “hard money crisis” apparently passed. I was reassured that nothing would be done to limit the colossal pileup of some $250 trillion in global debt. Sell bonds.
Feature #4: Innovation is Served
Forbes is my old home publication. I have written for them for some 45 years. They will not let me down now.
And they didn’t…
Their cover story was on the ascendant business empire of tennis star Serena Williams.
Yes, at the same time China is implementing the Belt and Road Initiative and new space breakthroughs and 100 new cities — and boasts three times more IPOs than the United States… we have Serena’s fashions and forehand.
I could continue through the rest of my pile. But you may be getting my point.
Bottom line: The mainstream media is virtually worthless as a guide to investment.
It is preoccupied with a bankrupt Keynesian economic theory, an ingenious campaign to blame conservatives for bad weather, and endless rotation of the kaleidoscopes of social issues.
This is what separates us from the mainstream press. Rather than looking back, we will always have our eyes on the future of technology innovation — along with the best ways to profit from emerging megatrends.
I will cover these issues in upcoming issues of Daily Prophecy.
Editor, Gilder’s Daily Prophecy