And as I thought about it while I was running this morning, I realised that the business news is an area that probably needs to be addressed. Every morning, I wake up, check facebook, greet the twitter following (usually with a picture from breakfast – today it was pork sausages), and start checking the news on the BBC app on my phone.
Now the BBC is awesome. But sometimes – sometimes I wonder about the way they decide on business news headlines.
For example, this morning, I read that RBS boss Stephen Hester has rejected a £1 million bonus. Someone important said something like “the game was up”. The journalist got to use fun adjectives like “controversial”. There were lots of quotes from various politicians about “doing the right thing” and “a sensible and welcome decision” and “now he can focus on getting back billions of pounds for the taxpayer”. And then someone in Labour attacked the British Prime Minister for being weak and feeble because he didn’t step in earlier.
So not really business news at all then. Just a business background for political saga.
Although sidebar – I think that the British Government’s decision to step in was monumentally stupid. Obviously, the decision was populist – and it was made very clear that Mr Hester had bowed to political pressure (I believe the journalist got to use the adjective “enormous”). But why do I think that it’s such a problem?
If a bank does not meet the remuneration standard set by the banking industry as a whole, your key personnel will be unhappy, and the good ones will leave. My vote is that Mr Hester will not be focusing on getting back billions of pounds for the taxpayer. If I were Mr Hester, I would be focusing on moving to another bank where I could collect my missing £1 million bonus. Immediately.
That may well be the topic of another post: “Why bonuses should be higher”. I’ll freely admit that I’m biased…
But getting back to the news: when I think about it, I’ve always struggled to relate the business news articles back to my day-to-day. News either has to be interesting or relevant. And honestly, business news isn’t all that interesting – unless we politicise it (see above), or turn it into the Kardashians (see all news articles relating to the sex scandal of the former head of the IMF). So that means that the good stuff must be relevant.
The Daily News Roundup is going to be a commentary on what I’m finding relevant and interesting on BBC and Bloomberg. Not everyone will be interested – but this is largely for me. Because even with all the background, I still find myself reading about the bonuses and the sex.
After all – good scandal is fun.