Get A Clue WSJ Op/Ed

I never bother reading most Op/Eds, because I like to form my own opinions. But a recent WSJ piece made me scratch my head:

"We keep hearing the word "bubble" to describe industries with rapid and unsustainable rising prices. Hence, the Internet bubble, the telecom bubble, stock market bubble, and now, some analysts believe, a housing bubble. Yet for some mysterious reason no one speaks of the oil bubble — though prices have tripled in two years to as high as $70 a barrel."   (emphasis added)

The Oil Bubble

WSJ, October 8, 2005; Page A6


Really?  Aside from the fact that its been mentioned several times by yours truly here as well as in print (Business Week, L.A. Times), why don’t we go to Google: 40,800 hits for the phrase "Oil Bubble". Search for just the two words Oil Bubble (no quotes), and you get 4,630,000 hits

WTF? Is this just lousy research? Mere stupidity? Or simply malicious publishing with blatant disregard for the truth?

Here’s the bottom line: The enemy of truth is the enemy of investors.

My rule of thumb is that if you need to make shit up to prove your point, than you are less than worthless: You are actively involved in obscuring reality, polluting the memestream, misleading investors. That moves the WSJ Op Ed page to the top of my "pages to avoid for investors" list.

Shame on them.

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  1. Dave Singer commented on Oct 9


    This Guy is really a tool…

    I get a student subscription to the Journal through my Bus Orgs class @ Touro Law School…And as I was skimming the pages my eye caught that article…I reacted much like yourself…

    Do they not say who wrote the piece???

    Anyway I guess you gotta be quite selective as to what you read and consider true…

    I love Abelson in BARRON’S, its so on point and well written…


    Much Props


  2. Off The MFers commented on Oct 9

    The real question is why do so many who revolve around Wall Street constantly and consistently attempt to obscure the truth? Is it political, or is it about getting the herd all moving in one direction as to make the slaughter all the more expedient?

  3. erikpupo commented on Oct 10

    One thing about oil, though, is that although the price is very high, it is something that is clearly essential to the economy and to the buyer.

    You need gasoline and other petroleum-based products, like heating oil (the question of true need is secondary to the perception of the American consumer and other world consumers, who perceive the need). You don’t need telecom stocks, you don’t need internet stocks, and in a sense, you don’t need to own a house (you can rent). The options surrounding oil are much less clear. Do you “need” to drive? Do you need products made fron oil? Do you need heat in your home?

    The other bubbles you mentioned have no true need other than greed (Except perhaps housing, and even that is greed-driven). Where is the greed in the high price of oil? It seems to be on the consumers of oil.

  4. Bud Hovell commented on Oct 12

    >Here’s the bottom line: The enemy of truth is the enemy of investors.

    … and of citizens.

  5. James Cameron commented on Oct 16

    “WTF? Is this just lousy research? Mere stupidity? Or simply malicious publishing with blatant disregard for the truth?”

    You don’t clarify what your issue with the WSJ piece is other than it repeats a notion that has been repeated many times before (despite the Op Ed piece to the contrary). What’s their blatant disregard for the truth?

    My view is the opinion engages in a number of generalities that don’t do much to support its thesis. For example, this:

    “The energy Malthusians counter that China, India and other nations will satisfy their growing appetite for oil by driving demand and prices ever higher. In the short term, yes. But over the longer term, as the Chinese become more prosperous through free markets, China will become vastly more fuel efficient and also help discover new sources of energy.”

    says nothing about what constitutes “longer term.” Is this 5 years, 10, 15? What’s the impact on oil prices during the interim?

    And there’s no mention whatsoever of natural gas, which is an issue unto itself and has climbed even faster than oil.

    All in all, a very poor piece. Moreover, if you were to look at the WSJ Op Ed pieces 2 or 3 years back my guess is they totally missed the current run in energy, leading one to ask just how much special insight they bring to the energy story.


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