Posts filed under “Financial Press”
Tuesday marked a reversal of fortune for global stock markets as investors adopted a more positive view of the prospects for the banking sector and cast aside concerns about the economy.
The movements of the major US indices over the past three days tell the story of the nascent rally: Dow Jones Industrial Index (+8.7%), S&P 500 Index (+11.0%), Nasdaq Composite Index (+12.4%) and Russell 2000 Index (+13.7%). A positive close by the end of trading today [Friday] will record only the second up-week out of 10 in 2009.
On the video front, footage was produced debating whether markets were witnessing A bottom or THE bottom and also the usual dosage of the dour outlook for economic growth and speculation about the “next penny” to drop.
Also included in this week’s compilation is a mega interview with celebrity stock endorser Warren Buffett, as well as a no-holds-barred face-to-face encounter between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer (in three parts at the end of the post).
Bloomberg: Marc Faber says government actions will boost stocks
“Government spending will spur gains in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index after it fell 56% from an October 2007 record, investor Marc Faber, the publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report, said. ‘Equities could rally between here and the end of April,’ Faber said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ‘The government’s efforts will fail to boost economic activity. They can boost stocks. Stocks have adjusted meaningfully.’”
Source: Bloomberg, March 9, 2009.
Charlie Rose: Barton Biggs on the stock market
Source: Charlie Rose, March 9, 2009.
Tech Ticker, Yahoo Finance: Ritholtz – get long torches & pitchforks; bailouts “absolutely asinine”
Source: Tech Ticker, Yahoo Finance, March 10, 2009.
Fox Business: Fleckenstein – not in a hurry to buy
“Bill Fleckenstein talks about the economy and why he isn’t rushing back to the market to buy.”
Source: Fox Business, March 5, 2009.
John Authers (Financial Times): China and the markets
“Should US or European stocks have sold off on the Chinese news [of poor exports]? Not necessarily. By this week, the S&P 500 had priced in much future bad news, says Authers.”
Click here for the article.
Source: John Authers, Financial Times, March 11, 2009.
CBS News: Your bank has failed – what happens next?
“What would happen if your local bank failed? Scott Pelley and ‘60 Minutes’ were given extraordinary access, as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation moves in to take over a failed bank in Chicago.”
Click here for the article.
Source: CBS News, March 8, 2009.
The newspaper industry, laden with heavy debt, is forcing companies into bankruptcy. Money-losing papers are closing. Here’s a look at the remaining newspapers, by city and circulation: > via NYT > Source: As Cities Go From Two Papers to One, Talk of Zero RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA NYT, March 11, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/business/media/12papers.html
Its been exactly 6 months since the single dumbest newspaper column ever published appeared in The Washington Post. Breathtaking in its ignorance, shocking in its fallibility, astonishing in its author’s perversely misperceived world view, it stands as a monument to sheer cluelessness as an economic discipline.
It wasn’t merely off — its simply hard to find anything market or economic related in it that wasn’t 180 degrees wrong. It is a monument to why economists should never allow their politics to influence their day jobs.
I was otherwise occupied when this fetid pile of foolishness was published. Six months later, it reads even more ridiculously than it did on 9/14/08.
Let’s take a closer look at this, sentence by sentence, and see if we can find anything of value in it. (My comments are ALL CAPS AND BOLD)
“It was the worst of times, and it was the worst of times.”
I imagine that’s what Charles Dickens would conclude about the current condition of the U.S. economy, based on the relentless drumbeat of pessimism in the media and on the campaign trail. [THAT PESSIMISM WAS THE CORRECT CONCLUSION] In the past two months, this newspaper alone has written no fewer than nine times, in news stories, columns and op-eds, that key elements of the economy are the worst they’ve been “since the Great Depression.” That diagnosis has been applied twice to the housing “slump” and once to the housing “crisis,” to the “severe” decline in home prices, to the “spike” in mortgage foreclosures, to the “change” in the mortgage market and the “turmoil” in debt markets, and to the “crisis” or “meltdown” in financial markets. [THAT’S BECAUSE ALL THOSE SECTORS HAVE BEEN IN ENORMOUS SLUMPS]
It’s a virus — and it’s spreading. Do a Google News search for “since the Great Depression,” and you come up with more than 4,500 examples of the phrase’s use in just the past month. [HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO OTHER PERIODS? IS THIS A LOT OR A LITTLE?]
But that doesn’t make any of it true. [BUT IT WAS & IS] Things today just aren’t that bad. [UNLESS YOU LOOK AT THE DATA; THEN ITS EVEN WORSE] Sure, there are trouble spots in the economy, as the government takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and jitters about Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers, amply demonstrate. [JITTERS? ABOUT THE BIGGEST BANKRUPTCY IN AMERICAN HISTORY? NICE TIMING] And unemployment figures are up a bit, too. [A BIT? 4 MILLION JOBS LOST SINCE THE RECESSION BEGAN] None of this, however, is cause for depression — or exaggerated Depression comparisons. [WHY NOT?]
Overall, the pessimists are up against an insurmountable reality: In the last reported quarter, the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.3 percent, adjusted for inflation. [HOW’S THE REVISED GDP DATA?] That’s virtually the same as the 3.4 percent average growth rate since — yes — the Great Depression. [EVERYTHING IS FINE, NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG]
Why, then, does the public appear to agree with the media? [BECAUSE THEY ARE SMARTER THAN YOU] A recent Zogby poll shows that 66 percent of likely voters believe that “the entire world is either now locked in a global economic recession or soon will be.” [AS WE HAVE LEARNED, A LOT SMARTER] Actually, that’s a major clue to what started this thought-contagion about everything being the worst it has been “since the Great Depression”: Politics. [THE FIRST THING YOU GOT RIGHT: YOUR POLITICS HAS BLINDED YOU TO REALITY]
Patient zero in this epidemic is the Democratic candidate for president. [ITS ALL HIS FAULT!] As it would be for any challenger, it’s in his interest to portray the incumbent party’s economic performance in the grimmest possible terms. [LIKE: “ARE YOU BETTER OFF NOW THAN YOU WERE 8 YEARS AGO?“] Barack Obama has frequently used the Depression exaggeration, including during a campaign speech in June, when he said that the “percentage of homes in foreclosure and late mortgage payments is the highest since the Great Depression.” [DAMN FACTS, HOW DARE HE] At best, this statement is a good guess. [NO, ITS ACCURATE DEPICTION OF DATA. DO YOU KNOW WHAT DATA IS?] To be really true, it would have to be heavily qualified with words such as “maybe” or “probably.” [HOW ABOUT 2 MILLION PLUS FORECLOSURES AND RISING?] According to economist David C. Wheelock of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who has studied the history of mortgage markets for the Fed, “there are no consistent data on foreclosure or delinquency going all the way back to the Depression.” [YOU ARE GOING WITH “WE DONT HAVE FORECLOSURE DATA GOING BACK THAT FAR?” REALLY?]
Rob writes in to say:
There has been a wee bit of a dispute going on between CNBC’s Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart of The Comedy Channel. Sort of like there was a mild difference of opinion between the Allies and the Nazis. Or perhaps like that time that Ali and Frazier got together for a light workout.
Well, tonight on The Daily Show, Cramer will be Stewart’s guest. That should prove to be rather interesting.
Here are some clips of the matter up to this point. By the way, whether you agree with Cramer or whether you agree with Stewart, this is pretty funny stuff.
Jon Stewart’s original bashing of Cramer/CNBC and his follow-ups after Cramer began talking about it on the air. (Note – it takes a while to view the videos, but its not like we’re busy making money or doing work anyway these days):
1) March 4, 2009: CNBC Gives Financial Advice
2) March 6, 2009 Some Liquid Sunshine: An “intervention” by Stephen Colbert (also of The Comedy Channel)
3) Monday, 9 Mar 2009 Cramer’s retort and explanation:
4) March 9, 2009: In Cramer We Trust
5) March 10, 2009: Basic Cable Personality Clash Skirmish ’09
Final clash of the titans this evening at 11pm . . .
Terribly amusing posting on the Freakonomics blog yesterday that made me check if it was April Fool’s Day: > > Thanks for the compliment — I think we both know this was correlation rather than causation. We recorded that on Monday afternoon, and they posted it early Tuesday. But if you looked at the US…Read More
Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know. * -Carl Spackler > I should take it as complement when not one but two TBP posts show up on the front page of the NYT on consecutive days. Some of this is clearly a moment of zeitgeist, with more…Read More
The incessant parade of bad advice, partisan quackery and general ignorance about the way markets work is fascinating to watch. I used to find it annoying, but now I simply use it as a way to make money. Just find the dumbest of the group, and take the other side of their trades. The latest…Read More
> On Saturday night, I referenced an interesting accusation from Playboy against CNBC: They claimed that the now infamous Santelli rant was a plant. (Rick Santelli’s Planted Rant ?) As I noted then: I have no insight as to whether this is true or not — but it certainly deserves a serious response from both…Read More