Every morning, we run The Narrative Machine on the past 24 hours worth of financial media to find the most on-narrative (i.e. interconnected and central) stories in financial media. It’s not a list of best articles or articles we think are most interesting … often far from it.
But for whatever reason these are articles that are representative of some sort of chord that has been struck in Narrative-world.
I’m channeling my inner MST3K with the comments here. Premium subscribers should feel free to join me in the Comments section (but only if you know what MST3K is!), and I’ll reprint the best ones in an upcoming Mailbag note.
I thought the larger screen shot here was kinda perfect, with Cramer’s “Investment Club” ad and not just one, but two Ameritrade ads. I also loved the headline use of the word “Bets”.
Frankly, this is the brilliance of the the Robin Hood UI (or UX, as the cool kids would say) … they don’t pretend that what they’re selling is anything other than a legalized gambling experience. The Street still wants to pretend. Dopamine is a helluva drug.
Want to make your infomercial stand out? Use the word “Value” or “Growth” in the title, and then sprinkle the rest of your “content” with the vocabulary of these distinct investor languages. Then for your hook, take a price chart of the past few months and find another year where the chart looks kinda like that. Don’t worry if it’s not a great eyeball fit, because no one will actually look up the comparison.
God knows I rail on and on about the power of Fiat News – the presentation of opinion as fact – as the bane of our political lives. But the more profound damage of Fiat News is in the hum-drum quotidian hours of our everyday lives, where there is no respite – NONE – from being sold on something by somebody. We are hardwired to respond positively to statements of “fact”, and everyone with a megaphone or an ad budget knows it.
Classic wall-of-worry narrative construction … create “concerns” and lead with a “warning”, so that the working day can be driven by a story arc of “overcoming” and “seeing through”.
It’s a Hero’s Journey, after all, and you watch because you, too, can be that hero.
There’s a wonderful book to be written about Alexis Tsipras one day, the Socialist “man of the people” who gets beaten down by Merkel to the point where he’s reduced to touting 10-year bond sales as the cornerstone achievement of his administration.
I agree with the upshot of this opinion piece in the NYT. But here’s the thing …
Notice the passive voice.
Wealth inequality and low interest rates don’t just “happen”.
Wealth inequality and low interest rates are the explicit and intended consequences of Team Elite monetary policy over the past DECADE.
And until our arbiters of Fiat News wrestle with THAT, they will continue to be “shocked” by the political gains of “populists” on both the Left AND the Right who instinctively do get THAT.
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