Media Navel Gaze: January 19, 2016

Mark Kollar  Follow

Blood. Bath. And Beyond?  The markets fell hard last week, clocking in the worst start-of-the-year performance ever, with the blue chips now down some 8 percent for the year and we can blame energy and China for a lot of it. No doubt we will see stories about volatility, bear markets and technical corrections, but staying on the sidelines and holding onto cash seemed to dominate over the weekend.

Elsewhere:

  • President Obama addressed the nation in his final SOTU address, talking change but more seemed to talk about the ongoing presidential debates;
  • Serial fans have been told to press hold with the podcast now airing every two weeks instead of weekly for more reporting time…or is this just a replay of True Detective;
  • The leading Philly papers have been donated to a non-profit journalism institute but will remain publishing in an odd twist of ownership structure;
  • The New York Times named Jim Rutenberg, its chief political correspondent, as its new media guy, replacing David Carr who died about a year ago;
  • Al Jazeera America is calling it quits;
  • And Penthouse is now available only online after 50 years in print;
  • The owner of The New Republic, a Facebookillionaire who caused bad ink when he acquired the storied magazine, has put the title on the block;
  • GE decided to bounce headquarters to Boston;
  • Fox decided to stay in Midtown (WSJ, et al) and not move downtown; and
  • We learned this week about a news agency called Amaq that through an encrypted app called Telegram is the first to report all things terrorism because of tips straight from ISIS and used by US journos in their reporting.

LatAm Gaze:

  • Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro declared the country to be under an economic state of emergency for the next 60 days. The motion comes after continuously elevating inflation issues (closing at 141.5% in 2015) and other economic complexities.
  • In an eye-opening sign of Brazil’s current economic state, data regarding the FI-FGTS, a R$22 billion (US$5.4bn) national fund extending credit to companies for major investment projects in the region, went largely unused during 2015 due to the ongoing Lava-Jato (‘car-wash’) investigation and the nation’s slowing economy.
  • In the latest sign of a shift towards an open economy strategy Argentina, under a new presidential regime for the first time in over 12 years, presented its fiscal plan for the upcoming year. The plan included a goal of issuing a US$1 billion debt offering next week, sending a delegate to the Davos Economic Forum after a 12-year absence, and a planned US$6 billion debt offering by Argentina’s Central Bank to international banks. 

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