Man Without Qualities

Monday, July 15, 2002

Possibly the Headline Indicating Least Understanding of International Finance This Year

New York Times headline:

"Euro Edges Past the Dollar in Victory for Europeans"

Now the reader may be foregiven for remembering that countries seem to spend a lot of time trying to "beggar their neighbor" by devaluing the currency.

But not to worry, the Times also reports that:

Some analysts said that Americans may now begin to take the euro seriously as a symbol of how far Europe's efforts at integration have come. "This is not the worst thing for the trans-Atlantic relationship," a senior German diplomat said.

So it appears that the New York Times financial reporters think that a "senior German diplomat" and an "analyst" are pretty much the same thing. Does that make readers have more confidence in the Times financial reporting?

If one is ever interested in how currencies are moving against one another, or whether to buy a German stock, one should certainly keep in mind that the Times would apparently call up a "senior German diplomat" for guidance. So presumably on this side of the Atlantic, the Times always remembers to consult with the State Department for financial and currency expertise.

And, gee, since they're writing about "victories," why didn't the Times ask a senior German military officer?

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