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CNN on Sub-Prime Mortgage Problems: Where is Personal Responsibility?

   CNN’s “Your $$$$$” is the hip, fast-moving replacement for “In the Money.” But don’t bother to Google “Your $$$$$.”

 

   It’s not easily searchable. You get millions of results, but none obviously about the program.

 

   That’s a basic starting point for any business with an online presence. It’s an early indicator there are other basics in Business 101 that CNN are missing.

 

   On the August 25 show, for example, viewers saw CNN’s bias on the recent market correction in sub-prime mortgages. “Lenders lost their minds,” marveled guest Mark Zandi, of Moody’s Economy.com. Hosts Ali Velshi and Christine Romans were nearly standing on their anchor desk in excitement: The borrowing public was duped by brainless-big business and only big government can save Americans.

 

   When Zandi said that, “Some borrowers got defrauded…” host Christine quickly chimed in, “Right!” off camera.

 

   Romans even turned advice for consumers into a criticism of business. “[A] couple of things that you point out that are important,” she said to Zandi. “You have got to pay your bills and stay on top of those mortgage payments, because they are not giving you any slack.”

 

   CNN was using a new name for the show but the story line was the same: Consumers were helpless victims of evil corporate titans. CNN and other networks tried the same theme before. A recent CBS report highlighted the problems Cynthia Bowers had with an Adjustable Rate Mortgage. A closing proceeds only with the knowledgeable, documented consent of all parties. Risks are all known by all parties, except journalists.

 

   The Business & Media Institute recently cited the Financial Times and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on the direction liberals want to take us: These loans “were accompanied by fraud…”

 

   A sub-prime loan is indeed a long-term, high-risk transaction. But it is not “fraud.” Liberals love that word and it has been welcomed with suggestions for more government regulation and criminal sanctions.

 

   BMI reported that liberals in their supporting think tanks would prefer the elimination of private property altogether. Borrowers who default on their mortgage could still live in the house they cannot afford. This government intervention would be no solution to the current market correction.

 

   CNN’s “In the Money” had a history of supporting government intervention or high taxes. It’s now “Your $$$$$.” This is leetspeak -- the new form of internet communication combining letters and symbols. Edgy typing done first by hackers. CNN is using new lettering and old debate tactics; attempting to combine the new language of web communication on an old cable network.  

 

   For free market capitalists, “Your $$$$$” will still make one LOL.

 

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Jack Yoest is President of Management Training of DC, LLC, and teaches business at the Northern Virginia Community College.