Saturday, March 19, 2011

FX Coverage on CNBC

Sad to say, I was spot-on in this recent post regarding CNBC's plans for covering foreign exchange trading. In it, I wrote,

"Within the past week, I was asked to complete a CNBC survey on the topic. The network's surveys are typically pretty obvious in their focus. This one probed my unaided recall of advertising by various FX trading vendors, then segued into how I felt about the companies and the concept of CNBC airing an FX trading program.

You can see what's coming here. One or more retail FX platform vendors approach CNBC about sponsoring a program focusing on their instruments. With all the cross-currency plays available, plus various forces- interest rates, trade, intervention, etc.- driving FX valuations and expectations, there would be a lot to discuss."

Sure enough, for the past few weeks, CNBC has been advertising it's new program, Money in Motion, which debuted yesterday in the 5:30PM time slot.

So, once again, we see the network bow to its entertainment nature, and tout trading behavior that few, if any, retail viewers should ever venture near.

It would be fitting if Vanguard founder John Bogle boycotted appearances on the network in protest of this latest move that is diametrically opposed to his message to retail investors.

I haven't seen the details of the program's staffing, and I didn't watch its inaugural appearance, though I may have elected to record it. However, at half an hour one day a week, it's reasonable to assume that the network, to start, is borrowing resources to staff it. At least until it knows whether it can expand it sufficiently to merit its own staff and budget.

That won't change my feelings about the program, which I wrote in that prior linked post,

"I continue to feel that CNBC knowingly entices retail investors to believe they can and should engage in investing activities for which they are unsuited. Most retail investors should stick to managed equity and fixed income funds. Few really have the time, knowledge and skill to add unique value by selecting individual equities or bonds, let alone derivatives thereon. For CNBC to devote so much air time- as much as 2 1/2 hours now, including two Fast Money programs and Cramer's Mad Money- is, in my opinion, irresponsible. To add FX to this brew is even worse."

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