I remember seeing somewhere a spoof of the NY Times slogan “all the news that’s fit to print.” It read, “all the news that fits the print.” Note the movement of one letter takes it from printing all the news to only the stuff they have room to print that day.

I’ll digress to the Daily Show and one of their ads that said, “More people get their news from the Daily Show………than probably should.”

Does anyone disagree that news shows are there to sell ad space and not champion the public and their right to know? Jon Stewart skewered CNBC for that very idea. Which brings me to my own rant about those who cover the stock market.

This is an excerpt from a financial news story this morning:

Quote Contrarian indicators reach new extremes – The VIX, an index of expected volatility on the S&P 500, has sunk to about its level when Lehman Bros. declared bankruptcy. If it falls much more, some analysts say they will be on guard that the market is getting ahead of itself.

“The VIX being at this low level is a sign that investors have become somewhat complacent about the current economic problems,” said [name withheld], portfolio manager with [name withheld], which manages exchange-traded funds and index funds.In an email interview, [name withheld] said that at current levels in the VIX, one could “make an argument the market is overbought.” End quote.

(with apologies for the two typos in the chart)

First, let’s start with complacency levels on the VIX. They would be extreme lows – not just lows for a short period. Complacency kicks in with the VIX in the teens so a VIX in the upper 30s is far from complacent. These sorts of readings were considered extreme highs – and fear – before the financial crisis began. End of rant. I feel like Jon Stewart – only not as funny.