Predictions and Accountability

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

Economic, Market Impact Of Hurricane Katrina

Good round up from Dow Jones:

Over a week after making
landfall, the broad economic fallout from Hurricane Katrina continues to
unfold. Economists are downgrading their third quarter growth forecasts for
the U.S. economy and not all think that rebuilding in the wake of the storm
will bring things back in the fourth quarter. Markets have stabilized
however, taking their cue from the price of oil and other refined energy
products, which have been hit by a major international effort to release
emergency energy reserves in an attempt to alleviate a supply crunch.
Estimates of the economic loss from the hurricane exceed $100 billion, with
the Senate’s top Democrat putting it closer to $150 billion.

Here
are some of the main market and economic impacts:

Read More

Category: Commodities, Currency, Economy, Markets

Katrina’s Oil Impact (and $4/gal gas)

Category: Commodities, Economy

Barron’s Picks Up “Time to Bet Against the U.S. Consumer?”

Category: Media

Overnight Holdings

Category: Trading

When to Sell Mutual Funds

Category: Investing

Are Real Commodity Prices at multi-century Lows?

Category: Commodities

Housing Market Gives Cooling Sign

Category: Economy, Financial Press, Real Estate

Chart of the Day: S&P500 following Gasoline Price Surges

Category: Commodities, Economy, Markets

Radio Economics

Category: Economy, Podcast