Good, Bad, and Ugly

Reader reaction to Reuters news

Still spending…

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Fearful consumers stop spending in August

spending-220.jpgWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consumers facing rising unemployment kept their spending unchanged in August even though incomes rose, according to a government report Monday that showed optimism about the economy’s direction was fading.

This sort of gross exaggeration in news reporting is ridiculous. In fact, consumer spending for August matched that for July. It just didn’t increase. Can writers and editors just knock off the attention-grabbing hyperbole and accurately report what is happening?

Tom M.

To indicate that consumers stopped spending in August when the article states “consumer spending was flat in August after barely edging up by a revised 0.1 percent. . .” plays into the fear mongering about the economy the media and congress are perpetuating.

B.B.

This was not a good headline, as several readers noticed. Consumers did not stop spending, they just did not increase the amount they spent: GBU Editor

Corporations paying taxes

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Study says most corporations pay no U.S. income taxes

irs-220.jpgWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the United States avoid paying any federal income taxes, despite trillions of dollars worth of sales, a government study released on Tuesday said.

The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

A story in two minutes?

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Side effects mar Elan, Wyeth Alzheimer’s trial

CHICAGO, July 29 (Reuters)- Keenly awaited details on Elan and Wyeth’s new Alzheimer’s drug bapineuzumab show it raised the risk of a potentially serious side effect, especially in people with a genetic risk of the disease, the companies said on Tuesday.

I have thought long and hard about how Reuters released this story at 5:02 p.m. when the data itself were released at 5:00 p.m. This was a deeply complex clinical study, and the results have a myriad of implications.

The wrong figures

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In the article you report that 2007 Q4 GDP declined at .2 percent, but the graphic associated with the article shows it growing at .6 percent for the same period.

Matthew

Several readers noticed that. We took the graph down: GBU Editor

Do the math

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US regulators seize two more banks

The FDIC said the cost of the transactions to its insurance fund is estimated to be $862 million, adding that the two failed banks represent just 0.3 percent of $13.4 trillion in total industry assets at about 8,500 FDIC-insured institutions.

The author claims that First National had total assets of $3.4 billion while First Heritage had assets of $254 million.

The wrong guy

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The photo is Henry Paulson.  John Paulson has hair …

P.H.

Sigh. Yes, wrong Paulson. We removed the photo: GBU Editor

The poll position

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Majority of economists see McCain better for stocks

mccain-0724-180.jpgWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. stock market would fare better in the first year after a victory by Republican presidential candidate John McCain than by his Democratic rival Barack Obama, according to a majority of economists at U.S. banks and research groups polled by Reuters.

Your headline makes it sound as though you’re talking about all economists, but it turns out it’s just a poll of a few. Shame on you!

An old story

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U.S. July auto sales drop, Toyota surges

Aug 1 (Reuters) – U.S. auto sales slid 17 percent in July as Americans shunned trucks and opted for more fuel-efficient cars, catapulting Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. past Ford Motor Co. into the No. 2 spot for the first time.

Your article refers to drops in sales for U.S. automakers in July. It repeatedly refers to July in the past tense. The article was written on July 21st and speaks as if July is already over. I believe the data that is used in the article is actually June’s sales data. If not, it should be noted that the information is as of a certain date in July. 

Doing the math

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amylin-160.gifAmylin posts wider second-quarter net loss

Revenue rose nearly 13 percent to $222 million, beating the analysts’ target of $224.3 million. Net sales of diabetes drug Byetta, which Amylin co-markets with Eli Lilly and Co, rose 17 percent to $177.5 million

If the analysts expected $224.3 million in revenue and amylin delivered $222 million, how did amylin “beat the estimates”?

They’re not borrowers…

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IndyMac borrowers line up in California to withdraw their cash

indymac-180.jpgYour headline is inaccurate. These customers are not “borrowers”- they are “depositors” who are trying to withdraw their funds held in deposit accounts.

Brad

Several readers noticed this one. We corrected: GBU Editor

REUTERS photo by Danny Moloshok

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