Bulls & Bulls


There was quite a debate on Fox’s Bulls & Bears show Saturday. The gathered sunshine squad/’shroomers on the show had a huge debate as to whether the Dow was going to a gazillion or merely to a katrillion. They ultimately split the difference, agreeing we would hit a bazillion. (Hey, I guess that’s just the Cost of Freedom).

I sent a note to the producers, noting that if they could not find anyone who does not believe the market is going to launch into a new Bull run, that I could forward you a list of well regarded strategists, economists and fund managers who aren’t quite so sanguine. 

I also respectfully suggested they change the name of the show to BULLS & BULLS.

On a positive note, I did appreciate the new humor section they added to the beginning of the show — it was a satire that explained how fabulously well the war in Iraq was going. My favorite part was when Tobin Smith explained that if Saddam was still in power, with Oil at $60, he would be accumulating $300 Billion of year. That buys a lot of WMD!

This new move towards satire at the beginning of the show on the war was simply hysterical!  I thought they were going after CNBC, but it appears their true target is The Daily Show. Brilliant, brilliant parody.


UPDATE:  March 20, 2006 6:24am

A reader informs me that the first section of the show was not parody, but actually reflected the views of the assembled strategists . . . Astonishing! I never would have beleived that any show claiming the war is going fantastic, the economy is terrific, and that the markets are poised to launch into a new Bull run was anything but satire.

My bad . . .

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  1. rwbil commented on Mar 20


    I regularly watch the saturday financial shows and have been telling all my follow investors they should change the name of Bulls and Bears to Bulls and More Bulls. So I agree with you 100%. The only person on that show that I pay attention to is Pat Dorsey and Bob Olstein (when he is on). Both are value fundamentalist like myself. But being all the other guest are technicians and momentum players they always disagree with the fundamentalist views.

    After watching the financial shows, I am thinking Bearishness does not sell. Who wants to watch a show that is bearish and telling you now is a time to be cautious and conservative. Instead, people want to hear how they can make a killing buying stocks.

    Cavuto on Business is just as bad, everybody but Jim Rogers is a screaming Bull.

    Barry, you are in the media. Do you get any pressure to be less Bearish and more upbeat???? I noticed that on Kudlow & Co. they only put you on to bring some balance to the other 3 Bullish guest. I can not remember Kudlow ever having 3 bears and 1 bull on.

    Barry, while I am commenting I do have one more question for you. I am cautious on the market right now for many of the same reasons you have talked about. But I do have one question. If we are in a Secular Bear Market, as a financial historian are you aware of any time in history there has been a secular bear market when so many indices are making new highs (transports, small caps, and etc.) I would appreciate you thoughts in this area.

  2. trader75 commented on Mar 20

    “I also respectfully suggested they change the name of the show to BULLS & BULLS.”

    Or how about “BULLS & BULLS–T”

  3. cm commented on Mar 20

    In German it’s called Realsatire — like in Realpolitik. The most accurate translation I can come up with is “reality [as] satire”.

  4. Mark commented on Mar 20

    The markets were looking a bit overbought by my technical indicators but is this just some profitaking in advance of PPI? Could Cramer’s to tick almost have been TO THE DAY?

  5. Bynocerus commented on Mar 20

    Waddaya Expect from Faux News? Fair and Balanced (smirk)? Considering that William F Buckley – who to this day defends McCarthyism – is their most thoughtful contributor, should we really be surprised by ANYTHING they say or do? How about renaming it Bullshit and More Bullshit? On second thought, that could apply to any of Faux News’ programs. Oh well.

  6. B commented on Mar 20

    The show is fun to watch. They yuck it up quite a bit. They’ve all got a good sense of humor. Seems I haven’t seen Kaltbaum on Fox too much recently. He’s pretty sharp and a pragmatist. Too negative?

  7. Brian commented on Mar 20

    CNBC gets a lot of knocks, which it deserves, but those Fox business shows . . . good lord, they’re terrible. I swear I watched one once and the topic was “Is the stock market patriotic enough?” Apparently the liberal stock market was refusing to go up because it hated George Bush? Don’t ask me to explain it. It’s like Kudlow with the BushBoostin’ cranked up to 11 and the IQ dialed back about 40 points.

    It’s been rumored for a while that a 24-hour Fox Business news channel is on the way.

  8. me commented on Mar 20

    I quit watching them when it when the repugs started wirting their script for them. I did like Pat Dorsey. I bought Kinder Morgan under 30 and solkd it when it doubled. It never made it to the 80 or 100 he said it would but still.

    I just don’t watch anything on Fox becuase it is all rah, rah and all repoublican, even on the finance stuff.

    Cavuto and Stein and some woman reportette that had no clue, ganging on Jim made me quit watching that show.

    I don’t think that fox has anyting useful to contribute to my financial knowledge. especially when their agenda does not match my reality.

  9. drey commented on Mar 20

    Don’t underestimate the proclivity of Fox News to shill for the administration. They’re the best spin machine the Republicans ever had – it’s positively Orwellian.

    Hopefully their reputation will suffer as W’s popularity continues to plummet. It irks me no end that these pinheads shamelessly dispense partisan crapola while pretending to be a respectable ‘news’ organization. They could only get away with it (or not) in a media environment where the barriers between news and entertainment programming, and between objective reporting and editorializing have been hopelessly and purposefully blurred…

    They’re a disgrace to the legacies of Murrow, Cronkite, et al.

  10. me commented on Mar 20

    Addendum ” Mega Bulls and Bull S**T” would be my suggested title.

  11. john commented on Mar 20

    I’d sit and watch paint dry for an hour before I’d watch a minute of anything on Fox “News”.

    The problem with most of these “business” programs is that they are about entertainment and not business. The most watched informercials are those regarding how to make a million dollars with no money down. Consequently the networks have to tell people how to make lots of money and the only way they know how to do that and connect with the idiots who might watch them is to say “bull market” over and over.

    Someone mentioned earlier that “bear market” doesn’t sell and that is true. But Cramer will always sell because he is always telling people how to make money. Whether they do or not is a totally different issue.

    Don’t waste your time with Fox or CNBC or MSNBC or any other channel for that matter. Watch TV for entertainment (what there is) and get your intelligent discussion here on the inet.

  12. anna commented on Mar 20

    If you quoted the show right the prowarrers are lying again (they claim American casualties fell a year ago when they were steady, they claim electricity has increased when a few days ago it hit a 3 year low.) If Saddam was in power Iraqi oil might be as high as 3 million barrels per day. But that’s 60 billion a year not 300 billion. And we don’t know what effect cutting Iraqi production in half has had on world markets. But it could be significant.

    Personally I don’t know what to do about Iraq, but I think staying and trying to steady the place might be right. But I’ve never seen such a colection of lies as the pro warrers throw out, at least not in America. They claim the war is a complete success, exactly as predicted, completly denying the 60 billion estimates and withdraal within months while at the same time claiming no one could have predicred what would happen ignoring a half dozen reports from official and quasi official groups such as Stae, the Army War College and Rand which warned of many of the dangers.

    We are seeing exactly the kind of behavior we have in totaltarian countries, the “perpetual victory” satired in the novel “1984.” These are economiic analysts, if they said 300 billion they lied. It wouldn’t surprise me. Minstry of Truth folks do that.

  13. B commented on Mar 20

    I think Murtha said it right on Meet The Press. Paraphrasing “Step back and let these people figure out their own problems. They might have a civil war like we did but in the end they’ll likely figure it out like we did. If we then need to recommit troops at some time in the future we can do so.”

    ie, Get us out of the cross hairs and let these people figure out their own problems. If they have grievances against one another, it won’t likely be stopped by us. A sad fact is there is alot of pent up anger between people who were kept under the boot and those who were the boot. We can’t fix it or control it. That’s all our foreign policy ever seems to want to do. Fix and control. The Iraqis have a legitimate right to not want us there and I believe alot more than we are hearing about don’t. There’s a documentary floating on HBo or somewhere and the Iraqi people are frustrated with our heavy handedness and inability to restart the economy or find anyone jobs. ie, Halliburton ain’t hiring any locals or the reconstruction is a joke. When men have no jobs and no sense of worth, they band together and cause problems. That’s not a Muslim issue. We see that with poor inner city youth and areas where men can’t get jobs. And our guys aren’t going to endear themselves to the general public either because they are in preservation mode. So, we simply are likely perpetuating a never ending f’cking mess. Let’s save our men and women from more unnecessary violence agains them. The perfect world is that people wouldn’t kill other people but that ain’t ever gonna happen.

    Look what happened when we left Vietnam. Anyone see a victory coming out of that? All those people wanted was to get rid of the boot of colonialism that had kept them under the knife for hundreds of years. Sound familiar? It was called the REVOLUTIONARY WAR. Just like the Vietnamese REVOLUTIONARY WAR. Hell, if we’d have given them the same help the Commies did and supported them kicking the colonial French out, we’d have likely never been in Vietnam. Now we have normalized relations, expanding trade and they are becoming for democratic. Nuff so that Nike is the largest employer and Intel just announced they are opening up their next plant there.

    The Iraqi majority will never forget we liberated them. They’ll likely moderate if we’d get the hell out of the way. We can’t control everything. Ike was right. Be PARANOID of the military/industrial complex.

  14. B commented on Mar 20

    Kevin Haggerty’s market comments……….A very well respected gent like that Ritholtz guy. Used to run all of Fidelity’s trading for those not as tuned in to the nerd crowd.


  15. donna commented on Mar 20

    Wow. People still watch television?

    Huh. Who knew.

  16. Barry Ritholtz commented on Mar 20

    wait until you see tomorrow’s comments!

  17. Northern Observer commented on Mar 20

    One of the things that amazes me is how useless the cable business news programs are. They seem to stree entertainment over information. Even Cramer who has good info is soo friggen batcave nuts in his little box, I can’t stand watching him. And why do these guys always have to add political quips every 5 minutes (all received wisdom national chamber of commerce pro republican bull). It’s shameful kindergarden conformity. That fat ass who hosts MSNBC morning call is the worst.

    If you have sattelite try and get Report of Business Television which is all about the Canadian Market. I highly recommend. It’s all business and the people they have on give out specific intelligent investment advice. Especially if you want to invest in natural ressources it is a must.

  18. Brian commented on Mar 20

    Is that the ROBTV I hear about? Never seen it.

    Interestingly, CNBC Asia and Europe are really pretty good. The american one is dumbed down infotainment.

  19. pseudolus commented on Mar 20

    Northern Observer,
    American TV is strictly for entertainment and/or propaganda. Even our ‘educational/science’ channels ae filling up with ‘new age’/UFO/psychic baloney. Hard information is difficult to find. I weep for my country.

  20. Mike G commented on Mar 21

    It’s been rumored for a while that a 24-hour Fox Business news channel is on the way.

    I’ve just found my new investment strategy — do the opposite of whatever Fox Business News recommends.

  21. colgin commented on Mar 21

    I watch this show abutonce per month for thehumor value. I always tell my wife ti should be renamed “The Perm-Bulls and the Ever-So-Slightly-Less-Bullih Bulls”.

    The talk about Iraq this weekend was classic. History as you would like it to be, not as it is. Oh and we weren’t getting any of that oil when Saddam was in ower just like we are not getting any Iranian oil now.

  22. J. White commented on Oct 28

    What a bunch of assholes! What fantasy world do you guys live in? Big news comin’ for you guys….

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