Posts filed under “Really, really bad calls”

The Return of Ben Stein ?

After spending several years writing money-losing columns that were lacking in any insight into Wall Street for the New York Times, Ben Stein has returned.

After his NYT dismissal for becoming the pitchman for scam site FreeCreditReport.com, enough time has elapsed that Stein seems to have landed a gig with Bloomberg owned BusinessWeek.

We will see which direction of wrong Stein heads in this time. His former free market absolutism out of favor, he seems to be tacking in the direction of populist outrage.

This is another column not worthy of much dissection, but one sentence leapt out: “Goldman can make money by creating a scam synthetic security, as the SEC’s complaint alleges…

No, that is not what the SEC complaint alleges — the legal charge is GS and Tourre engaged in fraud, made material misrepresentations about the security for sale, and had omissions of material facts.

Once this faux outrage passes, I expect to see the same old money losing lack of insight we’ve come to know and love about Ben Stein . . .

>

UPDATE: April 21, 2010 9:14pm
“Bloomberg informs me that Ben Stein is not a BusinessWeek or Bloomberg employee. This was a one-time editorial contribution.”

I am thrilled to be wrong!

>

Previously:
Farewell To Ben Stein (January 29th, 2008)
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/01/farewell-to-ben-stein/

Good Riddance, Ben Stein (August 7th, 2009)
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/08/good-riddance-ben-stein/

Source:
Goldman Sachs SEC Fraud Lawsuit Makes My Eyes Burn
Ben Stein
Business Week, April 20, 2010
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-20/goldman-sachs-sec-fraud-lawsuit-makes-my-eyes-burn-ben-stein.html

Category: Financial Press, Really, really bad calls

Rule 10b-5: Manipulative and Deceptive Practices

When ever I wrote something up, I try to show how I reach my conclusion. What are the data, facts, underlying elements used to reach an ultimate decision. In math, algebra, it was called”showing your work.” Sometimes, I don’t bother show the tiny details. I assume everyone knows 2=+2=4, understand the basic aspects of the…Read More

Category: Derivatives, Legal, Really, really bad calls

WSJ OpEd: “Material Misrepresentations? What’s That?”

I have no idea what goes on in the WSJ OpEd offices. I cannot tell you for sure that their Water Cooler is laced with LSD; I have no idea if they are drunk by the opening bell every morning. I’ve never done the research to see if key persons there played college football sans…Read More

Category: Derivatives, Legal, Really, really bad calls

Books in the Queue

Not too long ago, I finished Justin Fox’s Myth of the Rational Market. I’m about halfway through Scott Patterson’s The Quants. I have the following lined up in my queue: • Roger Lowenstein’s The End of Wall Street • Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s Super Freakonomics • Michael Lewis’ The Big Short •…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Markets, Quantitative, Really, really bad calls

Are Defaults Really Driving Retail Spending?

Every now and again, I see an economic commentary that is so ass backwards, I am compelled to call it out. Today is one of those occasions. The commentary in question comes from the usually astute Housing Wire. Paul Jackson makes the case that voluntary mortgage delinquencies are driving retail sales. I disagree. ~~~ Our…Read More

Category: Analysts, Credit, Real Estate, Really, really bad calls

The Only Tea Party Stat You Need to Know

There is a huge CBS/NYT poll and article (Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated) about the tea party members. I was not surprised to read they skew older, white, Republican, better educated and higher income than the average American. I was surprised to read they favor Social Security and Medicare. Towards the…Read More

Category: Politics, Really, really bad calls

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Vaccine-autism claims, “Frankenfood” bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public’s growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress. hat tip boingboing

Category: Really, really bad calls, Science, Weekend

Amazon Rocks; Electronics Expo Sucks!

You may recall back in February, I noted the ole Sony tube TV in the bedroom, after 17 years, finally bought the farm. I stumbled across a Sony Bravia V-Series KDL-40V5100 40-Inch 1080p LCD Flat Panel HDTV & Sony BDP-N460 Blu-ray Disc Player Bundle on Amazon for sale by Electronics Expo for $853. The delivery…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Really, really bad calls

Hudson Castle: Lehman’s Secret Risk-Shielding Tricks

The NYT digs up a secret Lehman Brothers memo about Hudson Castle — part of a financial system that enabled banks to exchange investments for cash to finance their operations — and mislead investors to make their finances appear stronger than they actually were. NYT: Critics say that such deals helped Lehman and other banks…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Really, really bad calls

Plummeting Death Reform

Very funny, from new Pulitzer prize winner Mark Fiore: click for video Hat tip Barry2

Category: Bailouts, Humor, Really, really bad calls, Weekend