CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Microsoft's Finances are on the Verge of Collapse: Libel in the New York Times

Microsoft's Finances are on the Verge of Collapse: Libel in the New York Times

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 06:04

You would not read that line in the New York Times. There are two reasons. The first is that it is not true (at least as far I know). The second is that the NYT would be quickly sued by Microsoft if it said something like this with no support.

However the NYT can say this about governments, which do not have the same ability to use libel suits to correct inaccurate statements. Therefore the NYT felt no qualms about beginning an article on Japan's stock market with the line:

"Japan’s government finances are on the verge of collapse."

Of course investors who are putting billions of dollars on the line do not agree with this unsupported assertion. The interest rate on 10-year bonds issued by the Japanese government is less than 1.3 percent. Investors usually demand a higher return from a company or government that they believe is on the verge of collapse.

Comments (3)Add Comment
written by Jim In Panama, February 22, 2011 6:58
They also called Iceland "bankrupt" .....repeatedly. As if the country had defaulted on its bonds (which it didn't). Then of course the rest of the media picked up the Iceland bankrupt meme and ran with it, as well. It never ceases to amaze me how these people who deal in words don't know or care that they have meanings
Acres On Verge of Collapse From Too Many Square Inches
written by izzatzo, February 22, 2011 7:27
Geology experts have recently discovered that acres are on the verge of collapse from containing too many square inches.

Geologists report this is not sustainable since an acre only has 43,560 square feet and cannot possibly continue to hold 6,272,640 square inches of space borrowed from other acres.

When asked why this was not discovered earlier, geologists reported that it was only made possible through recent advances in Zero Sum Math Journalism which proved that the whole of Peter consisted of the sum of Paul's parts.
Can't be broke with a fiat currency
written by WolfandRhys, February 27, 2011 4:30
This reminds me of the idiotic Mary Meeker piece where she says US, Inc is broke.

The idea that central governments are like companies is absurd and mainstream.

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.