Media & Finance

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By LUIZ MARQUES*

Economics journalism only shows that the dissemination of news has always been linked to the demand for market information from brokerage companies and trading houses.

Working at the magazine Examination between March 2018 and February 2021 and, on the platform Financial Intelligence, managed by Itaú Unibanco, between July 2021 and February 2023, Denyse Godoy wrote a rare report about the aggressive advances of finance in economics journalism in Brazil: “Everything is dominated” (Piaui, October 2023). With experience in the area, the professional on screen brings to light the influence of banking network executives, including in choosing the cover of publications. Goodbye, journalistic autonomy.

The partners of holding of BTG Pactual ironize. “In the same way that we follow the day-to-day Examination, Itaú controllers monitor the Piaui”, which rejects the hood and guarantees that “it has no boss, no controller” since 2021. With pragmatism and without going into the merits of the matter, Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva considers the employment of dozens of journalists with good stories and the concession to interests employers. “What is best for society? Leave the Examination die or be bought by BTG and, eventually, publish articles of interest to the bank?” It's difficult to find something in the magazine that actually contradicts the new owners.

Already InfoMoney, with 33,9 million monthly visits, belongs to one of the powerful stockbrokers, XP Investimentos, with a minority stake in Itaú. XP, with 4 million customers, management of one trillion reais and a market value of 11,5 billion dollars, discusses product plans in the presence of employees, selects guests for videos and managers who pay commission on sale of its funds, subsuming reporters. The phenomenon of the flourishing of the financial market occurs with the crisis in the conventional media. The internet has affected its main source of income, advertisers. Imitating New York professor Jodi Dean, the press complains to the websphere with irritation – “You are not my friend!"

Investment funds acquire printed vehicles in difficulties all over the world. According to the Financial Times, half of the 7 British periodicals are in the hands of financial companies. Alden Global Capital, which purchased the Chicago Tribune, founded in 1847, controls 1200 American newspapers. Journalists who cover the economy pray in the bible of neoliberalism – the Washington Consensus. The unique thought of totalitarian hegemony, object of denunciations by The Diplomatic World, was not a metaphor, but a colonization movement by media broadcasters. Journalism gave in to the rich propaganda of rent-seeking.

Power of finance

“The advance of banks and brokers in the economic information segment is part of the battle of these giants for the pockets of customers who, recently, began to understand that there are other ways of putting money to work, in addition to traditional savings”, he warns Denyse Godoy. Either financial capital directly controls the news, or it controls it indirectly through sponsorship of informative programs. O National Journal opened with music Summer of 68', by Pink Floyd, in the Banco Nacional advertising sketch in the 1970s. Currently, the JN is sponsored by Nubank, which owns the platform InvestNews. As in that fable, the dog's ears are cut off so the Wolf doesn't catch what he bites.

Alain de Botton, in News: user manual, attributes the problem to Economish language. Incomprehensible to most people, it awakens the feeling of impotence to change the pieces on the infrastructural board. Something that suffocates hope in another socioeconomic reality, and leads to political apathy. “Wake up in bed at night, for example, some of us may wonder in an inarticulate but sincere way why the world constructed by capitalism is not (the sentimentality is intentional) more nice. The news is guilty of incoherent outrage. Economic analyzes skillfully stifle ambitious considerations about the possibilities of a fairer world.” Let it be, sing the Beatles.

The dissemination of news has always been linked to the demand for marketing information from brokerage companies and trading houses. The transoceanic cables laid between the United Kingdom and the United States in the mid-XNUMXth century were jointly financed by financiers and news companies (the Reuter). Investor news is nothing new. The Stock Exchange certainly reflects the improvement or worsening of the real situation of hundreds of thousands of corporations. In effect, it impacts the cost of living. The common complaint lies with sectorists, who do not inject emotion when publishing the numbers. The issue changes direction when sleight of hand on the part of financial agencies becomes evident. Regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVC) often appears to be just wiping the ice.

The owners of published fictions, benefiting from the absence of third-party surveillance in the dissemination of reports, manipulate public opinion. Anti-interventionism is a cynical and hypocritical speech in the mouths of the heralds of the free market. Arguing that it is not your vocation to solve the riddles of economists or gun lords is to distort the assault on sunlight under the guidance of algorithms. It is no surprise that mass media is discredited. Recent data from the Institute Gallup, in the USA, say that 39% of Americans do not believe anything in the press, 29% do not believe much and 32% believe enough. Indexes plummeted. Trumpism helped with the erosion; Bolsonarism, equally, among us.

Power of the media

The transmitter-receiver model, which conditions the means and the message, borders on innocence in the face of the materialist framework that transformed the neoliberal worldview into a new reason for the world, forty years ago. It is naive to restrict the objection to the format of economic coverage or the lack of accessible and attractive language. Covering information and statistics with the aura of scientificity seeks to boost the credibility of what is conveyed in technical bulletins. “The falsely erudite and ridiculous precision that coats public opinion does not prohibit traditional ideological uses”, points out Patrick Champagne, in Forming opinion: the new political game.

The procedure fits into what Pedrinho Guareschi, in The builders of information: means of communication, ideology and ethics, calls “modes and strategies of operation of ideology” to simultaneously legitimize and disguise its interests and dollar signs. Due to an option by governments and pressure from the markets, Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco do Brasil do not participate in the initiative. The more familiar the grammar of the capital market becomes to citizens, the less people resort to subterfuge to hide the gears. The current political stage is one of subjectivation of the way to rationalize the Stock Exchange syntax. The profound conversion of individuals into self-entrepreneurs is the horizon of dystopia.

It is easy to understand the alignment of mass media to neoliberal ideology, privatizations and investor appetite. Support for narratives that are averse to politics and favorable to governance supervised by technocrats is natural. The majority team of loyal and valuable leeches of the Monetary Policy Committee (Copom), at the Central Bank, emerged in the wake of the 2016 coup. For shareholders who parasitize public companies, such as Petrobrás, what brings a shine to the eye is the transfer of extraordinary dividends, superior to the practice of foreign companies. They are busy, instead of investing in the development of refineries for the Brazilian oil company. In the name of sacred capitalist accumulation, they commit villainy and crimes.

Institutional crises, in the sense of John B. Thompson, in the book The political scandal: power and visibility in the media age, their roots are never exposed by the press. In social theory, political scandal is the field of “struggles for symbolic power, in which reputation and trust are at stake”. It is wrong to underestimate the destructive power of the media-financial symbiosis, the fight against which aims to deplete the reputation and trust of progressive parties, with emphasis on the PT and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, among the people.

counter-hegemony

It is also a mistake to consider that the polarizing situations between democracy and neo-fascism provide the conditions for the alliance of the proletarian classes with finance capital. Bankers and rentiers are not focused on people's needs or reducing inequalities, but rather linked to the percentages offered in short, medium and long-term investments. President Lula's trips act as antidotes, empowering the international political circuit to be resilient to the hegemony of money. It is about building a political-cultural imaginary between nations, in favor of the rights of the planet and humanity.

The nomination of Belém (PA) to host the 30th UN Conference on Climate Change (COP-30); the agenda with Joe Biden on work and the rise of the far right in both hemispheres; the proposed peace negotiation between Ukraine and Russia; the ready articulation

transnational for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor and a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, in the Gaza Strip; the multilateral meetings to form the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union; Argentina's entry into Brics; the resumption of diplomatic relations with Venezuela and Cuba; These are decisive steps towards composing the geopolitical mosaic of nations capable of cementing post-neoliberal counter-hegemony in the world.

In the country, with skill in the institutional space, the chief representative negotiates on the historical soil of the possible. With a relative congressional majority, the Executive approves projects that reinforce bonds of solidarity with workers and the vulnerable. The income tax exemption, which was R$1.903,98 since 2015, jumped to R$2.640,00 in the current year. Bolsa Família’s assistance policy accelerates social reinclusion. Optimism grows.

The media binomial & finances have their fingerprints on fake news and high interest rates, deindustrialization and fiscal adjustment, denationalization and lawfare, individualism and poverty, startup summit and entrepreneurship, infocracy and necropolitics, precarious work and big tech. In their footsteps, we find guerrilla tactics against public happiness and the path to extending social predicates, as well as public freedom and participation in the political processes of overcoming oppression and exploitation in society. However, Brazil is overcoming the virality.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was the state secretary of culture in Rio Grande do Sul during the Olívio Dutra government..


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