I’m a big believer in accountability — both on Wall Street and in D.C. That’s why I admit my (all too frequent) errors in public, why when I discover I was wrong about something on this blog I don’t delete anything, but strike it out (strike it out) and put the correction next to it. 

Its why I expect to be wrong, and plan for contingencies.   

Why am I bringing this up today? Yesterday (even through my head cold) I was infuriated by a nameless putz on TV, pontificating on the economic positives on Katrina.

This was infuriating because this idiot has for the past two years been pretty much wrong across the boards on EVERYTHING. His track record is abysmal:  Oil wasn’t going to go much over $40, if it did it won’t impact the consumer much, nor would Katrina impact the economy much, and it will take much less time to rebuild, and besides, no one could have seen this coming.

Why any station has him on is beyond my comprehension — I never met him nor has he cost me any money personally. But he is less than worthless; he is an actual distributor of misinformation.

Over the next few days and weeks, you will hear from many pundits — not just about Katrina and NOLA, but about the consumer, the market, oil, and the economy. I implore you before allowing any of the chattering classes (present company included) to influence you to familiarize yourself with their track record — prior to allowing their babble to color your perspective.

Here’s one example of how easily foreseen this was:

Historical Media Coverage (Pre-Katrina)

Washing Away (eerily prescient series from THE TIMES-PICAYUNE)

Gone with the Water (Nat’l Georgraphic, October 2004)

NEW ORLEANS IS SINKING (September 11, 2001)

That’s all I have to say on this topic . . .

< RANT MODE OFF>

Category: Economy, Financial Press, Investing

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

6 Responses to “Predictions and Accountability”

  1. John East says:

    “But he is less than worthless; he is an actual distributor of misinformation.”
    You’ve hit the nail on the head with the final phrase, he’s quite valuable (and probably well paid for his services) in the ongoing ditribution of misinformation. I’m not going to launch into a conspiracy theory here because I don’t think that there is one. Our business culture is steeped in a can-do posivitism in which to say anything negative (whether true or not) is considered counterproductive and unhelpful.
    If the emperor has no clothes you’d better keep your mouth shut in the financial media if you want to continue drawing your salary.

  2. Hans says:

    One of the consistent strategies I use, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, is to go the other way when the preponderance of misinformation hits a crescendo. So, I sort of say ‘thank you’ to the disseminators of misinformation. I agree that rating yourself is the only honest approach.

  3. anon says:

    Apparently, the public seems not to care much about accountability. Check out the recent poll from Gallup. The rationale behind the public’s view and attitude toward the current govt. is downright scary.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/?ci=18412

    Few Americans feel that any top official in the agencies responsible for handling emergencies should be dismissed from office — just 29% say someone should be fired, while 63% disagree.

  4. JWC says:

    Scary. I finally turned off CNBC this morning, couldn’t stomach the bxxxsxxt. Thank heaven for the internet and the ability to find honesty.

  5. Interesting Katrina Links

    Barry Ritholtz isn’t happy that people are discussing the economic positives of Katrina. Does anyone really believe there are positives? While I don’t normally link to political pieces, I really liked this one, probably becaues it sums up my own…

  6. Interesting Katrina Links

    Barry Ritholtz isnt happy that people are discussing the economic positives of Katrina. Does anyone really believe there are positives? While I dont normally link to political pieces, I really liked this one, prob_businessably becaues it sums…