Headlie: ‘Corporate optimism highest in six years’

by | Dec 28, 2009 | Headline News

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    If you happen to be scanning financial news web sites, you may have come across the following headline:

    “Corporate optimism highest in six years”

    This is just one among thousands of headlines we see on a daily basis and the hundreds of 20 second reports pumped out by the mainstream TV/radio media. For ordinary, unsuspecting, trusting citizens, the headline says it all and no further exploration of the matter would be required. But SHTF Plan readers are anything but ordinary.

    If you happened to follow the Financial Times news story, you’d have found that this headline, is actually nothing more than a headlie.

    Britain’s business leaders are more optimistic about the UK economy improving than at any point in the past six years, according to an annual survey of captains of industry.

    So far so good… But if you read past the opening statement and into the meat of the article, the real story emerges.

    In the yearly Ipsos Mori Captains of Industry poll of 100 company bosses, 36 per cent thought that the economic situation would improve, compared with just 4 per cent last year.


    But in spite of the positive outlook, almost three-quarters of the industry chiefs polled thought that the government’s policies would not boost the economy, with almost half identifying public debt as the most important issue facing the UK.

    About 30 per cent felt the economy still had a way to fall, however, though that was a drop of more than two-thirds on the previous year and the first time the optimists have outnumbered the pessimists since 2003.


    The poll shows that just 20 per cent say the government’s actions will improve the economy, while 70 per cent disagree. About a quarter of the leaders cited unemployment and poor political leadership as the most important issue.

    So, while the headline does tell part of the story, one would miss the important information had they simply moved along without reading the details.

    Yes, it is true that given the poll results over the last six years, corporate leaders are more optimistic about the economy (in the UK) than they were six years ago. However, that number is only 36% of all corporate leaders surveyed. Over 60% still believe the economy is NOT on a path to recovery.

    The headline could just as easily have read:

    “Most Corporate Leaders Don’t See Recovery in 2010”


    “Over Two Thirds of Business Leaders Doubt Government Action Will Help Economy”

    Instead, the FT ran with the aforementioned headlie. It’s this type of news blurb reporting that brings to question the credibility of, not just the news story, but the entire news organization. If it didn’t happen on a daily basis, across all of the major news networks in the world, we wouldn’t be writing about it. Is there a hidden agenda here, or was this simply an oversight on the part of FT editors?

    Regardless of the source of your news, read between the lines — and the lies.


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