The growing accessibility of the Internet and of cable television have made financial information more available to more people than ever before. As Americans increasingly invest in the stock market, journalists who cover Wall Street have gained a celebrity status once reserved for network anchormen. As Washington Post media reporter Kurtz deftly shows in this incisive expos‚, the hosts of financial shows on such networks as CNN and CNBC, as well as certain online and print reporters, can "move markets" the way only analysts were able to do in years past. This trend has led to a growing interdependence between journalists, brokers and analysts. Kurtz (Spin Cycle) makes good on his unparalleled access to many of the major players, who come across as professional and thoughtful, though they sometimes get carried away by events they can't control and often find themselves caught in conflicts of interest. Jim Cramer is one of Kurtz's prime examples: founder of the financial Web site TheStreet.com as well as the manager of a $300-million hedge fund, he frequently writes about companies whose stocks he owns. But Cramer is far from the only one on Wall Street touting companies in which he has an interest. While Kurtz concludes with the predictable observation that Wall Street is a crazy, greedy, morally ambiguous place, his first-rate analysis of the interplay between the media and American financial institutions more than justifies the point. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Richard Bernstein The New York Times Kurtz's indefatigable, gossipy, punchily written examination of Wall Street and the press...is assiduously reported, wide-ranging, [and] full of insider stories. David Lazarus San Francisco Chronicle A must-read account of the way stock prices are manipulated by information-hungry media outlets and no-account market analysts. Marcia Vickers Business Week An impressive job of penetrating the rumors, hidden alliances, and cutthroat competition that drive financial news.
In this well-written, detailed, and thought-provoking analysis of business news, Kurtz, Washington Post media reporter and the author of Spin Cycle: Inside the Clinton Propaganda Machine, discusses how business journalists in all media report their stories and how this reporting moves financial markets. He details the relationships between technical analysts from brokerage houses and the various corporations they do business with, the corporations themselves, the traders on the floors of the stock exchanges, and business journalists. As Kurtz demonstrates, the activities of individuals in these groups, including their conflicts of interest and "spin" tactics, influence what information is reported. Kurtz portrays his fellow media professionals as "fortune tellers" because they convey not only factual material such as earnings reports and well-documented corporate activity but the opinions of pundits, corporate CEOs, and business forecasters. Readers will enjoy Kurtz's well-documented portraits of such celebrated personalities as James Cramer, Maria Bartiromo, Ron Insana, and Mark Haines. This timely and intriguing work is a good choice for public and academic libraries.DSteven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.