Skip to comments.Fortune Cookie News: Is This American Business Magazine a Propaganda Tool of China?
Posted on 12/10/2019 5:02:18 AM PST by poconopundit
American business has taken big leaps forward under President Trump's leadership. When Trump was elected, the stock market shot up like a rocket and has gained over 20% in 2019 alone. In November, America added a record 266,000 jobs. Black, Hispanic, and woman unemployment are at historic lows. The USA is arguably enjoying the best economy in the world.
So I was quite surprised when I received Fortune magazine's December issue in the mail and saw the Why Trump is Bad for Business headline on the cover.
Indeed, the motivation of Fortune's editors must be questioned now that this American-business-centric magazine is owned by a Thailand firm that owns a huge investment stake in China. In fact, in the same December magazine criticizing Trump, is another story entitled, What China's Best Investor is Buying Now.
So to commemmorate Fortune's new status as a financially-interested China-advocate, I couldn't resist the meme, "Fortune Cookie News", giving twelve good reasons to not invest in China.
Fortune Magazine and its New China Connection
Fortune Magazine had a heck of a publishing run in the 1980's, 90's and early 2000's. It widely covered the tech revolution: computers, mobile phones, Internet, and social media. It was also big in automotive industry and banking. At its zenith, the magazine was mailing 250+ page magazines to readers twice a month.
But the shift to mobile phone and internet readership forced a big frequency drop. Today, Fortune ships much thinner magazines every month, including two "double issues" a year. In 2018, Time Inc. sold off its magazines to Meredith Publishing, who a year later sold Fortune to Thai billionaire Chatchaval Jiaravanon for $150 million.
Chatchaval Jiaravanon is the executive chairman of the C.P. Group a $63 billion private firm headquartered in Bangkok with huge investments in China.
Most significant of C.P. Group's China investments is the $164 billion a year Ping An, Chinas second-largest insurer and its biggest non-state-owned company by revenue. A big story on Ping An was published by Fortune this year.
In the 1990s, Ping An became the first Chinese financial firm allowing foreign firms could own equity: Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were early backers. Current shareholders include three companies controlled by C.P. Group, which together held a stake of 9.19% at the end of 2018.
Of course, even before its foreign sale, Fortune was a Never-Trumper. The magazine opposed him early on in the Presidential race. But recently the attacks on Trump and his Administration seem to have picked up -- as evidenced by the three magazine covers below:
Fortune's argument that "Trump is Bad for Business" is flawed. And I will try to prove that across three major points made in the story:
Is Trump Really Insensitive to CEO Concerns?
I begin with the Fortune story's subtitle, which reads:
Trump certainly cares about CEO confidence, but the range of CEOs he cultivates is not limited to Fortune 500 execs. Trump also cares about Main Street CEOs -- the entrepreneurs who run restaurants, stores, and professional firms. Afterall, those are the companies who drive most American employment. And Main Street is growing mightily under Trump's lead.
When Trump fought with big companies who wanted to ship jobs overseas, you can bet Trump was viewed as "insensitive" to the CEOs in charge of those firms. But American workers praised his efforts to protect jobs.
But Trump probably cares very little about ruffling "C-suite sensibilities". After all, the C-Suite too often provides "sweet" deals for "rent-seeking" execs who bear little-to-no downside risks: if board directors fire the CEO, he usually gets a gold parachute. Robert Rubin collected $130 million in bonuses at Citibank. But when Citibank went bust, did Rubin pay taxpayers back when Citibank received a massive bailout? No he did not.
Too many Fortune 500 CEO's are crony capitalists and globalists looking for a regulatory or financial crutch from government to ward off foreign and smaller competitors. One of the worst CEOs of this ilk was Carly Fiorina, the woman whose decisions caused Lucent Technologies to tank. And that lousy record didn't prevent Fiorina from soon getting hired by Hewlett-Packard, a firm her incompetence also did much to destroy.
You can't compare your average Fortune 500 CEO to a guy like Bill Gates or Donald Trump who are owners -- people who have true Skin-in-the-Game. Two decades ago, when Trump's business went sour, Trump lost a billion dollars -- that's a billion dollars of his own money!
Is Trump Causing the Steel Industry Financial Pain?
When I read this quote from the story, I immediately questioned its accuracy:
Sure enough, I searched Google Finance and discovered that the stocks of 2 of the top 3 steel firms (Steel Dynamics and Nucor) are higher than they were before the 2016 election. The other stock, U.S. Steel is indeed a third lower than it was before the 2016 election.
Now recently Trump mentioned that he was considering raising tariffs for Brazil and Argentina, who may be dumping steel in the USA. Regardless of that, Trump's Secretary of Commerce is Wilbur Ross, who single-handedly engineered a deal in the early 2000's to save steelworker jobs at Bethelehem steel, so I surmise he's still committed to the health of the steel industry.
Actually, if you add up the annual revenues of Nucor, U.S. Steel, and Steel Dynamics, they don't add up to the size of the Luxemborg firm Wilbur Ross sold Bethlehem Steel to: ArcelorMittal. This $76 billion giant still employs thousands of workers at 12 major U.S. facilities, in states such as Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Steel is a unique industry because strong domestic production drives other American industries like auto manufacturing, transportation, and mining. Besides this ripple effect, we certainly need a strong steel industry for our national defense needs.
So the important thing is not that US-based steel owners make big profits -- though we wish them the best -- but that America has strong domestic production. And it may be that while some of the bigger U.S.-owned steal firms struggle today, are other entrepreneurial steel firms gaining ground on them? I wonder.
Should We Worry about Economic "Uncertainty" in China?
When you can't cite hard data to show "Trump is bad for business", I guess it's time to bring in some "experts" and cite their opinions. Hmmm... taking some lessons from Chairman "Shifty" Schiff?
In the Fortune story, three University of Chicago professors say they are quite concerned about Trump causing "uncertainty in Japan and China". They have concluded:
Dear IYI professors. Americans voted for Trump precisely because he was willing to bully foreign countries like Japan and China to deliver fairer trade policies. He wanted them to worry about their "uncertain" future if they chose to give America the cold shoulder.
But in October, President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan signed a sweeping USA/Japan trade deal. It forced Japan to open up its markets. So while there was uncertainty in Japan before, after the deal was signed, that policy uncertainty has vanished.
And talk about uncertainty, a few months ago, China blatently reneged on a trade deal in progess and continues to be an unreliable negotiator. However, Trump has remained very consistent about lowering America's trade deficit with China.
Looking into the future, the Chinese may just have to accept high tariffs and continued disinvestment in China. If China refuses to make a deal with the USA, it will face a huge outpour of capital. That purposeful "uncertainty" Trump imposed on China has already caused a massive stock market drop in China. But China can remove that "uncertainty" by solving the trade deficit issue.
Otherwise, America can find plenty of other trading partners in Asia like India, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia who are willing to support fair, reciprocal trade. If that happens, China's export business to the U.S. will steadily dry up.
You can bank on that certainty, China!
Note: For years I've subscribed to Fortune Magazine. Its anti-Trump and pro-globalist bias aside, the magazine still produces some excellent business stories. Guys like Adam Lashinsky create stellar stories on High Tech. Then there's the yearly Fortune 500 issue that always delivers good editorial.
Make Fortune Great Again.
The business press needs to be called out for its bias. Fortune Magazine is now owned by a private Thai business with a big stake in the Chinese economy.
This vanity questions Fortune’s editorial methods and points out the flaws in its December 2019 issue’s story, “Why Trump is Bad for Business.”
Welcome your comments and critique.
Fortune Magazine is the MAD magazine for business owners...
Forbes is gone from this left wing rag .
Fortune was sold years ago to a Globalist cabal
linked to the CCP .
fortune is a fake capitalist magazine. It is full of leftist propaganda. I will never buy a copy.
Outstanding article with MANY excellent points.
Too much to comment on all of them, but I’ll pick just 1.
1. Trump & Gates are not like other CEOs. Actually I would quibble with that and say that Gates is much more like the others than you might think, but your point is valid. Trump has SKIN IN THE GAME.
There are far too many MBAs running US companies. MBAs who did not start or nurture those companies and whose main goal seems to extend only to the next quarter and/or manipulating the stock price and/or enriching themselves.
My quibble: I would argue that there are many like Gates who appear to have started and run their own companies, but they did not. I believe they were set up by the Deep State. In this category I would put Zuckerberg, Brin & Page, Bezos, and many others. The best example of this is Epstein!! Where do you suppose his billions came from? How did he get his start? See any evidence of business activity? Anything that would generate billions? Any particular reason that already rich people would go to him for “financial advice”?
JE is the most extreme example, but I have a hunch that there are many like him in the business world. This is why POTUS has had to be careful and take his time dismantling the DS enterprises. He wants to remove the cancer (DS players) without killing the patient (US economy, normal US citizens invested in DS-controlled companies).
I realize I’m off on a bit of a tangent from your article, but hope you find this useful/interesting.
I hope a lot of Freepers read it and _get_ _it_.
Thanks for the ping, I didn’t know this, but it makes a boatload of sense given the types of articles I have read from them recently.
I can’t find it, but I just read an article from them posted on FR recently basically saying the Intellectual Property Theft by China is overblown and no big deal.
I shook my head reading it, and decided if that is the caliber of people writing for them, I am done even looking at them.
This kind of explains it for me.
You are exactly right about segments of the media — how large I suspect we don’t know — being bought off by the Chinese. I would not exclude high level US politicians from the list of the “bought and paid for “
A few months ago an astute and conservative Chinese friend — now a naturalized and proud US citizen — asked my why Congress and the media were not supporting Trump in the trade negotiations with China. My answer was, much of Congress and the media are on the side of China, not American citizens or the US.
Fortune is no longer American owned.
Outrageous.......should never have been allowed.
Yes even the so called “business” publications have been co-opted by the left and globalists. Especially the UK ones like Financial Times and the Economist.
About the only one still on the right is Investor’s Business Daily.
Thanks... and I do get find what you say interesting.
I think Gates owned the rights to the operating system and worked out a deal with IBM to support the IBM PC. His billions evolved from that.
But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t influence by the Deep State. Look at all the government agencies buying Microsoft software.
Lots of ways he could have been interested.
And I totally agree that Trump is going slow because it’s the pragmatic way to get his main objective accomplished — Make America Great Again.
Very much agree with you about FT and the Economist. They hate Trump with a passion — biased in the extreme. They are tools of the globalists.
Agree. We stopped China from buying tech firms. If Trump made an issue of this purchase, maybe it would have stayed in American hands.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.