COMMENTS: Money Worries

The state of the economy is showing signs that it may dominate the new year's news environment. Both CBS and NBC led with economic stories--the consolidation in the ailing home mortgage industry and yet more indicators of recession respectively--as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell again, losing 246 points to close the week at 12606. On the campaign trail. Democratic contender Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed a $70bn package of fiscal stimulus for the working poor. No single economic story grabbed headlines, however. ABC led instead with the Department of Homeland Security's plans for a universal identity card for all adults. So the Story of the Day was a celebrity scandal--the fall from grace of track and field star Marion Jones, heading to federal prison for six months for lying about cheating.

NBC, as usual, turned to its sibling financial news network to cover the economy. CNBC's Maria Bartiromo led off NBC's newscast with corporate woes: Merrill Lynch may announce a further $15bn in losses from its speculation in the home mortgage market; American Express warned that more of its credit card holders have become delinquent payers; and "once proud" Wall Street financial houses are turning to foreign governments such as abu-Dhabi, Singapore and the People's Republic of China for infusions of capital. On CBS, Anthony Mason focused on Countrywide Financial: the firm that services one out of every six American home mortgage is "tottering on the brink of bankruptcy" and has been forced to sell its business. Bank of America paid $4bn. Betsy Stark covered Wall Street for ABC. An analyst told her that "spending is down on everything from hamburgers to diamond rings"--as the stock price of both McDonald's and Tiffany declined.


You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.