Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ceteris paribus

ceteris paribus is Latin for “all other things held equal” and provides the basis on which observable trends can be evaluated as to their causality.

One such observable trend is the enormous bias in the press on income trusts, in which inane logic and non-acknowledgment of hard evidence and policy outcomes garnered over the past three years, such as foreign takeouts of trusts that have caused three times as much real tax leakage than what fraudulently represented to exist in the first place, is ignored. A good example of this is that absurd article by Al Rosen that appears in the current news stand edition of Canadian Business Ragazine that I circulated yesterday and that is presently being eviscerated by all viewers at CB’s website.

Similar and equally inane nonsense such as that has appeared in newspapers across the country, like the Globe and Mail, with zero reporting on the real litany of unmitigated nonsense that this double taxation of retirement income in RRSPs (but not pension funds) has caused and a complete denial that Flaherty’s tax leakage argument is a hoax, and therefore a fraud

Ignoring for a moment the gross commercial conflicts of interest that prevail at the ownership level of these various highly concentrated media empires, and simply looking at the publications themselves, I would like to pose the following question in an attempt to explain the source of this gross editorial bias against income trust and against reporting the real truth.

This is where ceteris paribus comes in:

All other things held equal, what editorial position would best serve the interests of a news chains that relies on ad revenue for its continued commercial existence:

(1) In favour of reporting the truth (eg Flaherty’s tax leakage argument is a lie, takeovers have caused real tax leakage, etc) and supporting the continued existence of income trusts, knowing that securities laws prohibit advertising of income trust IPOs and new issue, or

(2) In favour of reporting falsehoods and suppressing real news about the adverse consequences of the trust tax, knowing that killing income trusts will favour investment products like Manulife’s Income Plus that can be heavily advertised and is heavily advertised and advertising opportunities like Kevin 0”Leary taking out full page ads in the back of the Globe and Mail advertising how his O’Leary funds is willing to trade your tired income trusts for units of O’Leary Funds on which he will earn an annual fee stream to exploit your travails at the hands of the Harper government and the Globe will earn more advertising revenues.

What do you suppose? No conspiracy theories involved, merely an acknowledgment of the commercial self preservation instinct at play in the editorial boards across the nation, like the Editorial Board of the Toronto Star who I met with in April 2007 and witnessed first hand this very dynamic at play....or should I say, for sale?

1 comment:

Dr Mike said...

The timing of the Rosen article says everything.

We have not heard a peep out of Ponzi Al on the subject for years then all of a sudden out of the blue , there he is , with trust terminating bazooka in hand.

Mystery O mystery , shouting a little back-up for his man Flaherty as the trust world may be about to end.

As I have said before , most perpetrators eventually return to the scene of the crime---in this case it was to help his best bud CEOs & Jimmy-boy Flaherty.

On the other hand , maybe Al is just trying to dispel his own guilt & make himself feel better.

Dr Mike Popovich