Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Low’


Trust Across America (TAA) receives frequent inquiries from the financial media. Here’s how the conversation usually goes.

TAA: Hello TAA. How can I help you?

Media: Hi! This is Debbie Downer from major financial news network. We understand that TAA ranks public companies according to their trustworthiness. Is that correct?

TAA: Yes we maintain a database of approximately 2500 public companies and our FACTS® Algorithm can measure the major drivers of trustworthy business behavior. We can even show you how each company ranks according to its market cap, industry and sector peers.

Media: Great. Can we get a list of the lowest ranked companies?

TAA: Just to clarify. You want a list of the least trustworthy companies?

Media: Yes

TAA: Sorry but TAA’s mission is to highlight the good guys. How about if we give you some examples of companies doing good and doing well at the same time?

Media: Good guys? No thanks. The public is not interested. Only bad news sells.


Jonathan Low at recently wrote about the disappearance of the small investor, and with the help of Barry Ritholtz listed 10 reasons why. I propose #11.

#11 The financial media industry is obsessed with bad news and scandals of the day. How will confidence in the financial markets ever be restored if this cycle continues? Jonathan and Barry, it’s really not a matter of poor returns. There are great companies who are meeting the needs of all their stakeholders including their shareholders.

It’s the responsibility of the financial news networks to refocus. Report to the public about companies that are behaving in a trustworthy manner. A few names that come to mind are Accenture (Symbol: ACN) and United Natural Foods (Symbol: UNFI). We are not suggesting that these companies are perfect. They may trip along the way.  But our research shows that they will also recover much faster. They have “banked” trust.

So to all the Debbie Downers of the financial news networks. Here’s my suggestion. Try highlighting a few of the good guys. Treat the public with more respect. Use this as an opportunity to be a positive role model for the rest of your industry. Don’t be part of the race to the bottom. Don’t be that guy (or gal)!

What do you think? Should the financial news networks report more good news? Send your comments to barbara at

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