Media Worth Consuming – January 2023

Interesting and under the radar media on finance, economics, politics and society
Jonathan Rochford

Narrow Road Capital

Top 5 Articles

Funding for Britain’s NHS has been growing much faster than inflation. However, the inefficient government run health service still fails to keep up with demand with Ukrainian refugees travelling back to Ukraine for healthcare rather than wait for a spot in the UK.

Poverty in America has fallen greatly since the 1960’s, but government statistics are deliberately misleading people into thinking otherwise. In most US states, families are better off on welfare than working a minimum wage job.

When David Beckham went to play soccer in the US many thought he took a pay cut, but he ultimately made a fortune from the move.


America’s leading economic indicators are solidly negative. Inflation is negative on American consumer goods with price increases on services keeping CPI high. Natural gas prices in Europe and Asia have fallen substantially from their peaks with a warm European winter and reduced Asian demand playing a part. OPEC has been written off by some, but it still has meaningful influence on the supply of oil and the price of it. Argentina is buying back its debt at a discount to par; Moody’s sees it as a default but S&P and Fitch don’t.

JP Morgan is suing over a business it purchased in 2021 where it is alleges over 90% of claimed users were fictious. Hedge funds lost $208 billion in 2022, their worst year since 2008. Venture capital funds haven’t marked down their investments anywhere near the falls in their listed equivalents. Google is worried chat bots might give you better answers than search engines, destroying their ad revenue.

Politics & culture

Just like Donald Trump, Joe Biden is under investigation for mishandling classified information with Mike Pence also handing back documents. Chicago’s Mayor offered students class credits if they helped with her re-election campaign. The state of Illinois has ceded control of bloated spending to unions, effectively setting the state on a pathway to bankruptcy. Student loans in the US allow students to spend part of the loan on whatever they want, with taxpayers often picking up the tab. If you want to improve student outcomes at school, giving them a choice of schools works but spending more on government schools doesn’t.

Why the Twitter files scandal is a big deal for those who produce and consume journalism. The FBI paid Twitter $3.4 million to ban and suspend accounts for “misinformation” and “foreign influence”. Ukraine’s President exercises vast control over print and online media including requiring media organisations to obtain licences to operate. A British woman was arrested for silently praying outside an abortion clinic. There’s good reasons to celebrate Australia Day. Australia has already had many Indigenous voices to parliament and they haven’t fixed the everyday problems plaguing Indigenous Australians.

Economics & work

GDP growth has halved in the developed world in the last 15 years, with politicians more concerned with redistribution than productivity. The US Government collects 11 times what it pays on interest, so there’s no need to default if spending cuts are properly implemented. The US is a facing an unavoidable decision; cut government spending or push through massive tax increases on low and middle income earners. A Q&A on the Fed’s enormous losses from QE4. After peaking at $18.4 trillion in late 2020, negative yielding debt has now completely disappeared.


The Ozone layer is recovering at a pace that would see a full recovery by around 2066. Giant wind turbines are collapsing, with manufacturers admitting they have pushed too high, too fast. 5 ways society will change as EVs become a greater proportion of total car sales. Why Roman concrete has lasted thousands of years.

Microplastics are getting into fruit and vegetables through the recycling of sewage sludge onto farmland. Why eggs are refrigerated in the US but not in Europe. Almost everything marketed as being “truffle” is a scam.

Ice hockey stills allows fighting, but there are clear rules governing it. M&M’s is dropping cartoon characters from their advertising after complaints they were too attractive. Amidst awards season, here’s the nominees for the worst of cinema in 2022

This article has been prepared for educational purposes and is in no way meant to be a substitute for professional and tailored financial advice. It contains information derived and sourced from a broad list of third parties and has been prepared on the basis that this third party information is accurate. This article expresses the views of the author at a point in time, and such views may change in the future with no obligation on Narrow Road Capital or the author to publicly update these views. Narrow Road Capital advises on and invests in a wide range of securities, including securities linked to the performance of various companies and financial institutions.

Jonathan Rochford
Portfolio Manager
Narrow Road Capital

Narrow Road Capital is a credit manager with a track record of higher returns and lower fees on Australian credit investments. Clients include institutions, not for profits and family offices.

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