Steve Benen: …. it was another unpleasant day on Wall Street yesterday, with all of the major indexes falling. From a political perspective, consider how some news outlets covered the story – and connected the drop to President Obama …. Politico’s front-page headline told readers: “Markets plunge after Obama speech.”
In fairness, the Politico article was slightly better than its ridiculous headline, but the larger point is the same: these outlets tried to draw a connection between the president’s jobs speech and the one-day drop on Wall Street. After all, Obama spoke on Thursday night, and stocks slipped on Friday morning, ergo, one caused the other.
The problem, of course, is that this isn’t even close to being accurate. We know why the major indexes fell yesterday: “The stock market tumbled again Friday as doubts about the ability of European leaders to address a spiraling debt crisis on the continent overshadowed President Obama’s new proposal to spur U.S. job creation….”.
To suggest to U.S. news consumers that markets were reacting to the president’s jobs speech is absurd, even for conservative media outlets…..
Zachary Karabell (Daily Beast): It’s easy to blame the president’s speech for the turmoil in economic markets at home and abroad – it’s also wrong.
… Most major news outlets ascribed the drop to a negative market referendum on President Obama’s jobs speech last night.
… The weakness of U.S. financial markets this week has almost nothing to do with what is going on in the United States economically or politically. It has everything to do with the endlessly unfolding drama in the European Union over the fate of Greek debt, peripheral countries, and the euro.
… we have one easy but false narrative – the markets don’t like Obama’s plan – that trumps a more complicated but true story – the markets are roiling from the fear of what is happening in Europe ….
Most financial cognoscenti know that the current issue is Europe, as do many who write and speak about such things. But the American desire to be the center of all things makes the story of markets selling in reaction to Obama too tempting. The problem isn’t just that it’s the wrong twist….