Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 2015 SDADA Column

Since June 16, 2015, one person has been on the news virtually every night. Every Sunday he is on some (or all) of the Sunday morning news shows (often on the phone!). His presence has made typically uninteresting early campaign debates “must see” TV. Despite pledging to spend as much as $1 billion on his campaign, he has spent less than $2 million as of the most recent election reports.

But why would Donald Trump spend any more than that? That attention has propelled Trump to the top of virtually every national and early-state poll. Facebook has a tool (Facebook Signal) that journalists use to identify trends, photos, videos and posts from Facebook and Instagram for use in their storytelling and reporting. According to Facebook Signal, he is responsible for 80 percent (or more) of the conversation around the 2016 presidential race on any given day.

Love him or loathe him, Trump could teach all of us a thing or two about getting free publicity. I would love to see a dollar value for the publicity that he has gotten the past six months. Which raises the question: Is all publicity is good publicity?

I don’t know what will happen in the Republican race over the next six months but I do know we can count on two things: we will see much, much more of “The Donald” and it won’t be boring!

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Gets Thrashing in Press

Since the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1737, the Reforming CFPB Auto Financing Guidance Act, on Nov. 18, 2015, the CFPB has been deservedly ridiculed in the media. Many news outlets have found the CFPB actions so onerous that they have called for most drastic actions.

The Wall Street Journal has been particularly pointed in its criticism as they published an opinion piece entitled “Shouting ‘Racism’ Is a Career Move” in which they detail how the CFPB justified framing people for crimes they didn’t commit presumably if it serves a policy or political agenda. The WSJ also posted a video entitled “Consumer Financial Profiling Bureau” on their website in which they discuss the federal enforcement agency’s flawed model of racial discrimination in auto lending. Then on December 9, the WSJ followed up with “The Consumer Bureau Cover-Up” in which they suggest that the CFPB knew their data showing racial bias was false but sued anyway.

U.S. News and World Report published a December 2 article entitled “Take Away the CFPB's Keys” in which they rip the CFPB for overreach and call for the abolition of the federal agency. They praise Congress for their bipartisan rebuke of the CFPB and ordering it to ensure that a cost impact and other real studies are conducted before this kind of policy can take effect.

All of this criticism of the CFPB has me crying crocodile tears! I only wish I have had the chance to shed these tears five years ago!

New York Times Takes Cheap Shot at Auto Dealers

The New York Times published an article in their December 1 issue suggesting that car dealers won’t sell electric cars. They could not cite any reasons why we might not be interested in selling electric vehicles but we were the reason electric cars haven’t reached the heights they were supposed to.

Peter Welch, president of NADA, wrote a Letter to the Editor, published in the December 9 issue of the NYT. In it, he explains that dealers sell what consumers want and the reality is that electric vehicles — and the infrastructure that supports them — unfortunately do not yet suit the needs, desires or budgets of most car buyers.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It…)

Dealers accused of running a monopoly?

Do you remember this Saturday Night Live skit about bows on cars?

Are people ready to buy cars through vending machines?

Hey boss – what do I do with the $50,000 cash I found in this trade-in?

This New Yorker was scammed in Billings by fake auto dealership.

Woman destroys her husband's car after catching him with his mistress.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

2015 Knust Kronicle

2015 Knust Kronicle

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Knusts!

Click here to see the 2015 Knust Kronicle

You can find previous Knust Kronicles and Christmas letters here.