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They just don’t get it

29 August 2014

Dutch journalist and Mexican resident Jan-Albert Hootsen (who tells me he’s NOT a lefty) on the financial media’s coverage of Latin American politics:

Election logic according to the Financial Times: there’s a recession in Brazil, which now supposedly threatens Dilma’s chances of being re-elected. Not because of the working class, amongst whom she is still popular, but because investors don’t like her. Because, in that weird, extra-dimensional universe which is FT’s editorial offices in London, investors are apparently a magical majority of voters who decide elections, and not the working or middle class.

Typical financial reporter

Typical financial reporter

Ever wonder why media such as FT are so taken aback when folks like Ollanta Humala, Mauricio Funes, Evo Morales or Lula manage to get themselves elected? How it’s possible that economic growth does not automatically translate to winning elections? Why the vast majority of non-investing voters seems to enigmatically have different thoughts on how a country should be led than investors, banks and hedge funds? That they have other concerns than benchmark equity indexes and the yields of soon to mature bonds?

I’m not saying this because I like Dilma, Morales or Maduro, or because I dislike investors. Quite the contrary. But I just don’t understand why a newspaper like FT just doesn’t seem to get that their investor friends (whose interests they represent, which is perfectly respectable) aren’t even close to being a majority of voters anywhere in the world, and that it’s votes that determine the outcome of elections, not what investors think.

This also applies to Enrique Peña Nieto. FT seems to be completely flabbergasted by EPN’s low poll numbers. ‘But… reforms! But… transformative reforms! Historical reforms! REFORMS!’ – Sure, plenty of investors abroad like the idea of being able to establish a foothold in Mexico’s energy sector, but do those foreign investors constitute a majority in Mexico?

Stupid question, right? Well, apparently not stupid enough, because some newspapers seem to be completely in the dark as to how public opinion and elections in democratic countries actually work.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 30 August 2014 1:31 am

    The bollio has always gotten his way. And why, because we do not stand up to him,when we know he is wrong!!

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