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Journalists are suckers for a confessional story.
There’s belief among journalists thatÂ confessional stories carry more resonance with readers because they often areÂ narrative tales about insiders fessing-up to the truth.
And so today we have Andrew Ross Sorkin in The New York Times telling us the great confession of British private equity chieftain Guy Hands. What’s Hands’s great admission? That private equity firms charge excessive fees to investors and that highly-leveraged takeover artists aren’t always the great managers they purport to be.
Shocking, right? Critics of private equity have been saying those same things for years.
So why does it matter that Hands wants to spill his guts to Sorkin over tea at the Jumeriah Essex House, a fancy hotel overlooking New York’s Central Park? To be blunt, it doesn’t.
Kudos to David Cay Johnston who does a great job in The Audit taking apart The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times for their recent sob stories about how the rich are so much poorer these days.
Johnston, a former Times business reporter, faults both newspapers for running stories that speculate how much poorer the rich have become–even though there isn’t a lot of data to support the speculation. He goes on to question the data and facts that both papers relied on as support for their stories.