Posts filed under “Financial Press”

The Rise of the Permabears ?

There is a an interesting — and somewhat odd — article in today’s NYT titled Economic Pessimists Gain Cachet (originally headlined:  “The Rise of the Permabears“).

Why odd? Well, the 3rd sentence describes permabears as “a species that has long flourished on the outer margins of the financial industry but rarely inside mainstream banks.”

That is a weirdly incorrect statement. Two small, obscure investment houses — Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch (ever heard of ‘em?) had 3 well known permabears in senior research positions. Stephen Roach was the chief economist at Morgan, while Merrill had David Rosenberg as their chief economist and Richard Bernstein as chief market strategist. All 3 can be described as Ursa Majors — Roach fled the US for Asia for 5 years, while both Bernstein and Rosenberg fled Merrill.

Hence the phrase “rarely inside mainstream banks” is totally wrong.

Other than that error, the rest of the article, a discussion of several well known bearish European macro strategists, is worth reading. It covers Albert Edwards of Société Générale (no stranger to Big Picture readers), Bob Janjuah at Royal Bank of Scotland, and Raoul Pal, formerly of Goldman Sachs.

I suspect what is confusing the author is the inherent bias of the analysts that cover individual company stocks. Perhaps their permabull forecasts, typically in the service of whoring for investment banking business, skews the MSM perception of most analysts.

Or not.

I have no idea howTF anyone could miss the Morgan/Merrill holy trinity of bearishness, so I am just spitballing here . . .

Its tough to squeeze out much of a contrary indicator in this article. The author seems to have forgotten the 2 biggest shops’ biggest bears; it is not on the cover of a mainstream non-business publication (NYT Section B – Page 1). If anything, it tells us that we are now 10 years deep into the secular bear market that began in 2,000, and that writing about the bears is no longer considered the fringe.

I can conclude from the spate of Bear focused articles only that we are closer to the end of the bear market than the beginning . . .


The Bulls, The Bears, & the Media (January 26th, 2008)

McKinsey: Equity Analysts Are Still Too Bullish (June 2nd, 2010)

Reviewing — and Roasting — the Perma-Bears (June 11th, 2010)

The Men Who Would Be Roubini . . . (July 8th, 2010)

Economic Pessimists Gain Cachet
NYT, August 9, 2010

Category: Contrary Indicators, Financial Press, Psychology

Monday Linkage

Lots of good stuff today: • Cheap Money Ain’t Free (Real Time Economics) • Mark Thoma: Is the Unemployment Problem Cyclical or Structural? (Moneywatch) • Structured Notes Are Wall Street’s ‘Next Bubble’ (Bloomberg) • About time: Regulators Plan First Steps on Credit Rating (WSJ) • William Greider The AIG Bailout Scandal (The Nation) • Soak…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Economic Purgatory: 2% GDP

Good Monday morning. Good to be back at my desk, where I will try to ease back into my usual routine after way too much travel the past few months. Camp Kotok, as it is known, brings together about 40 economists, strategists, fund managers and Fed researchers for a weekend in the woods. Unlike the…Read More

Category: Economy, Financial Press, Travel

Wednesday Reads

Damn, it is hot in NYC today. Well, the good news is I am off to Maine tomorrow, where it is usually a delightful 75 this time of year. Before I depart, I wanted to leave you with one final linkfest for the week. These are the items I found interesting, informative, or just plain…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Tuesday Reads

My inbox is getting clogged with some quite interesting reads. Here are the best of them: • The ‘Great Recession’ Earns Its Title (Economix) • Greenspan appears to have taken to heart the old adage that “if you can’t forecast well, forecast often” (Telegraph) • The Biggest Lie About U.S. Companies  (Marketwatch) • Cash Glut…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Punishing Shareholders? Nonsense

Whenever a company’s executives get caught doing something stupid/illegal, and are forced to pony up a hefty fine, a hue and cry go up: You are only punishing the shareholders. Well, yes, you are. That is, in fact, the purpose of these fines: To punish the companies engaging in violations of SEC laws, and to…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Legal, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

Thursday Reading

After a 7 days in Vancouver, I have been busy in the office all week — digging out from under the email deluge, meetings, a few media hits and conference calls. As usual, I have a long list of items that I would like to read, but haven’t gotten to. I used to print them…Read More

Category: Financial Press

About The New York Times Infographics Department

Interesting video about how the NYT graphics department works

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Category: Financial Press, Weekend

Fools Gold: Inside the Glenn Beck Goldline Scheme

Goldline International is under investigation by the Santa Monica City Attorney’s office, jointly with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, as well as being the subject of a separate investigation by Congress into the possible criminal practices. The firm has been the subject of an ABC Nightline News Exposé, as well as an investigation by NY Congressman Weiner).

Jess Bachman, who did several of the fantastic illustrations for Bailout Nation, turns his graphic expertise to the Glenn Beck/Goldline endorsement scheme:


click for ginormous version


FREE: add this infographic to your website!

Embeddable Graphic

600 Pixel Wide Version



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Category: Financial Press, Gold & Precious Metals, Legal, Television

Tuesday Linkage

Worth your time: • Study: Boards Use Peers to Inflate Executive Pay (Dealbook) • How hunger affects our financial risk taking  (BPS Research) • ‘Systemic risk’ theory gains in stature as way to prevent the next bubble (Washington Post) • Apartment Rentals Surge in U.S. on Foreclosures, Jobs (Bloomberg) • Bruce Bartlett:  Sweden imposes a…Read More

Category: Financial Press