Media Navel Gaze: January 26, 2015
The Week Unpeeled
Big news-packed week, with President Obama delivering the State of the Union (complete with full-scale digital coverage from the media and the White House), where the president seemed to close the chapter on the economic downturn and upturn the focus on helping the middle class by taxing higher earners; some pundits said the delivery was more of a end-of-term victory lap one year ahead of schedule.
- The King of Saudi Arabia died, raising uncertainty in the relatively stable nation;
- The US-backed Yemen government collapsed; raising uncertainty in a highly unstable nation;
- Europe is launching a QE program, proposing to buy $58 billion in bonds a month;
- The Dow rose a bit last week, up 0.9% to end Friday at 17,672, helped a bit by the Eurozone stimulus announcement;
- "American Sniper" was a box-office winner and fodder for red and blue commentary on combat, guns and war all week;
- Google's going cellular, planning to offer wireless service;
- Argentina was shaken this week by the sudden, suspicious death of federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman just days before he was set to testify against the government regarding a 1994 terrorist attack, the worst in Argentina's history;
- Peru's Central Bank announced that the country has secured $31.7 billion in private investment commitments for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, surpassing 2014's levels by $1 billion;
- Brazil's government announced its intentions to loosen restrictions on state-owned energy company Petrobras' gas prices;
- Way Out of this World: Rosetta spacecraft has sent back images of a comet 310 million miles from earth;
- Way Niche: Oscar De La Hoya announced plans to launch a Spanish-language TV channel on boxing and martial arts (Oprah of the Ring?);
- Way Otherworldly Niche: Microsoft introduced a 3-D headset (and not at CES, interestingly) called HoloLens for 3D games and "immersive" video conference calls; and
- Deflate-gate happened.