Paul Farrell on Wall Street Bullshit

Paul Farrell — who seems to be getting more and outraged every day — pulls a buncha quotes from the past to hoist on their own petards the bulls of yesteryear. Before you snicker, note that many of these same characters are rising once again again in the the public media.

Its not merely that they are wrong that so infuriates Farrell; its that they have been 1) wrong so consistently 2) by facing in the same Bullish direction, and that 3) this perma-Bullish stance serves their fee driven — rather than performance based — agenda.

Bennett Goodspeed, in his book The Tao Jones Averages, had a name for this group: "The Articulate Incompetents."

Here are my favorite half dozen selections:   

• October 1999: James Glassman, author Dow 36,000
"What is dangerous is for Americans not to be in the market. We’re going to reach a point where stocks are correctly priced, and we think that’s 36,000 … It’s not a bubble. Far from it. The stock market is undervalued." (Warning, don’t choke on your popcorn!)

• December 1999: Joseph Battipaglia, market analyst
"Some fear a burst Internet bubble, but our analysis shows that Internet companies account for only 7% of the overall Nasdaq market cap but carry expected long-term growth rates twice those of other rapidly growing segments within tech." (The Internet Index lost two-thirds in the next six months.)

• December 2000: Jeffrey Applegate, Lehman strategist
"The bulk of the correction is behind us, so now is the time to be offensive, not defensive." (That’s a sucker’s rally.)

• December 2000: Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan
"The three- to five-year earnings projections of more than a thousand analysts, though exhibiting some signs of flattening in recent months, have generally held firm. Such expectations, should they persist, bode well for continued capital deepening and sustained growth." (And the curtain opened revealing the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.!)

• January 2001: Suze Orman, financial guru
"In the low 60s here, I think the QQQ, they’re a buy. They may go down, but if you dollar-cost average, where you put money every single month into them, I think, in the long run, it’s the way to play the Nasdaq." (The QQQ fell 60% further.)

• April 2001: Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs
"The time to be nervous was a year ago. The S&P then was overvalued, it’s now undervalued." (Unfortunately, the markets continued down for another 18 months).

If any of these so-called gurus had studied market history, they would have recognized how unusual the pricing of securities had become, how extended the Bull market was, and how potentially devastating any correction might be.

Forget timing the market perfectly — merely acknowledging the rapidly increasing risk would have at least sufficed.

>

Source:
B.S. is Wall Street’s official language
Funny how the bulls’ talking points are the same, cycle after cycle
Paul B. Farrell
MarketWatch, 5:27 PM ET Jul 3, 2006
http://tinyurl.com/n38sb

Category: Financial Press, Markets, Psychology

Debunking One of the Worst Ideas in Economics

This is scheduled to disappear from Yahoo  soon — I wanted to capture it before it went away. Its a criticque of Supply Side economics by Charles Wheelan, former US columnist for the Economist, and at present an economics and public policy professor at the University of Chicago and visiting prof at Dartmouth College. Wheelan is the author of Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science.

Debunking One of the Worst Ideas in Economics
Wednesday, May 3, 2006

http://finance.yahoo.com/columnist/article/economist/4065

"In this column, I’m focusing on bad economics. In fact, I’m going to write about what I consider to be the two worst economic ideas — or at least ideas that pass as economics, though both have been thoroughly repudiated by nearly all credible thinkers.

When I say worst, I don’t mean the most outlandish (e.g. stock prices are controlled by aliens) because those ideas usually collapse of their own weight. Rather, the most pernicious bad ideas in economics are those that have a ring of truth. They’re hard to debunk because they have a certain intuitive appeal. As a result, they stick around, providing bogus intellectual cover for bad policy, year after year, decade after decade.

For the sake of political balance, I’ll skewer a favorite of the right in this column, and then a favorite of the left in my next piece.

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Category: Data Analysis, Economy

Open Thread

Category: Weblogs

Margin drops $6B on NYSE

Category: Investing, Markets

4 Year Presidential Cycle: Bond edition

Category: Economy, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Politics, Psychology

Independence Day

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Not Expensive vs cheap

Category: Data Analysis, Financial Press, Investing, RR&A, Valuation

Sitegraphs: Websites as HTML graphics

How cool is this?

Websites as graphs displays your website as a graph of colored, connected dots representing the various HTML entities.

Below is a graph of the Big Picture:

Bp_as_graph


via Web log tools collection

After the jump, I grabbed a bunch of other sites for comparison purposes:

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Category: Technology, Web/Tech, Weblogs

Defining Features of Market Pros

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Markets, Psychology, Trading