A chart made the rounds last week that purported to prove Nouriel Roubini and David Rosenberg are excellent contrary indicators as relates to the stock market. The chart was simply the S&P500 annotated with alleged market commentary by the pair — bearish at the lows, bullish at the highs. It eventually made its way over to the estimable Doug Kass, who posted it. (Mr. Kass had no part in the chart’s creation, and this is not a quibble with his decision to post it. Further, I’m a big fan of his contrarian style.)
The truth — at least as it relates to Rosie — tells a bit of a different story. In March of 2009 — on the 4th, to be precise — Dave was “looking for reasons to turn bullish” and “believe[d] the stage [was] being set for sentiment to become completely washed out, which is what it takes for contrarians to become constructive.”
Below is a page from his report that day (highlights were made by me three years ago and not for this post):
Now, we can argue about whether or not Dave ever really found the reasons he was looking for, or made the “turn” of which he wrote, but for the chart-maker to suggest he was bearish at the March 2009 low is simply untrue.
For transparency’s sake, I’ll note that Rosie is a good friend. I do not know Prof. Roubini.