Meta Recursive April Fool’s

Okay, this is now getting downright silly. Let’s clear this up, before it gets further out of hand:

Last night, I set to post my April Fool’s gag — about Google’s new search engine that  allows you to search one day into the future. It was cute, but tame, and as the comments reveal, caught a few people off guard.

Then this morning, I saw Doug Kass’ April Fool’s piece, announcing his conversion to the uber-bullish camp. It was obviously a joke, punctuated with an "I have decided to convert my dedicated short funds into long-only partnerships. April Fool’s Day!"

Dougie’s commentary was very cute, if perhaps obvious: A well know Bear flips Bullish.

After mulling it over for a few nano-seconds, and seeing the soaring futures, I decided to have a little fun with Doug: What if the market actually mistook his joke for real, and the market rallied on the faux news?  Thus was born a meta April Fool’s joke, about another April Fool’s joke.

It was a parody about another parody, using the conceit that the first parody was to be treated as if it were believed by others as real. 

A few people in the financial media got it right away — especially those who were mentioned by name. Dave Callaway of Marketwatch, and David Gaffen of the WSJ knew they hadn’t written any such articles. They swatted a way a few media calls about this. 

Other sites were not so quick to dismiss the joke, and reported on it as if it were a straight piece of blogger induced news.

If there is any good news in this, the mainstream press were savvy/cynical enough to not buy into this goof; other sites were perhaps less grizzled. 


For the record, this was a goof.

Doesn’t anyone recognize an April fool’s joke when they see one anymore ?



deleted to protect the gullible, which is a word that surprisingly, is not in the dictionary. Look it up, you’ll see…

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Mr. Stupid commented on Apr 1

    I can’t wait for this day to end.

  2. Red Pill commented on Apr 1

    I wish this whole miserable decade was an April fools joke.

  3. @@ commented on Apr 1

    Second that.

  4. Ken H. commented on Apr 1

    I thought uber bear Tice acting bullish and giving MS a hard time in the Hamptons piece was pretty funny. Got MS to tell him to fuck off,…Sweet!

  5. Richard commented on Apr 1

    can someone please explain to me why every major news article i read of late reports weakness in the economic indicators and is immediately followed up by but most economists believe this will be a short mild slowdown? why do they believe this? where’s the empirical data showing how we’ll get out of this weakening cycle? the jobs data doesn’t support such a notion. neither do wage gains (or lack thereof) and the continued inflation of all things we need every day. pray tell can someone explain this to me?

  6. Rich Shinnick commented on Apr 1

    Ken H.,

    My thoughts exactly, two recent booms were fueled by the productivity increase of the internet and then the real estate bubble and equity extraction. The next one will be fueld by…..government checks?

    Beyond me.

  7. Rich Shinnick commented on Apr 1

    Sorry, comment directed to Richard…

  8. Stuart commented on Apr 1

    Major efforts are dominated by talking points, short mild is the talking point du jour. Psychology and perception are critical at this junction. Watching 10 seconds of CNB…..C, is enough to illustrate that point in spades.

  9. jimcos42 commented on Apr 1

    Whoa! Wait a mnute. Gullible not in the dictionary? shows 6 entries. There’s a visual on And it’s in my Scrabble dictionary too. Another AFJ?

  10. woolybear1 commented on Apr 1

    It was funny. Peter Schiff growing horns would have been funnier but, Kass was very good.

  11. swio commented on Apr 2

    You have to remember we live in a time when line between satire and reality has gone AWOL.

    I mean, David Lettermen has a regular segment conisisting of nothing more press appearances by the president replayed without editing or comment.

  12. jbh commented on Apr 2


    great april fools joke. i was watching the market all day (ignorant to your meta april fools) and wondering… “wow they know its a joke but the computer models don’t have a sense of humor, so once the 1% up trigger kicked in, the machines started buying…”

    this is a full court press attempt at crowd control (read: in order for the smart money to get out, they need to pump the s&p back to 1400).

  13. Eric Davis commented on Apr 2

    I checked the footnotes expecting numerous MSM (if marketwatch counts as MSM(sorry dudes)). Were extending the joke, and was sad to see them not going along.. I guess April fools can get out of control.

    I didn’t read any of the comments as taking it seriously…. except the rally.

  14. dgoverde commented on Apr 2

    April Fool’s jokes are not funny in the first place, and in the second place, only end up hurting your brand, so why not refrain from making them? Google damages their brand every year on this first day of April, and now you and Doug Kass endeavor to do the same? It’s not smart, Barry. Few of the people who get the joke will think it’s funny, and the people who don’t get the joke will hold it against you. So why do you do it? The answer is simple: hubris. It is the people who think that their brand is invincible who tend to propagate April Fool’s jokes. The Google heads obviously have a problem in that regard, and their founder of Virgin, the co-conspirator in today’s Mars goof, is the poster boy for hubris. I’m surprised to find you in the same camp. I have long respected you and check your site every day. Don’t start diluting your brand. There are plenty of other places for us to go to get our news.

  15. Bedemere commented on Apr 2

    Lighten up dgoverde, it was LOL funny.

    But Barry, “gullible” is too in the dictionary! I looked it up in 3 of them and it was right there next to… oh, wait…you got me again:)

  16. blaze commented on Apr 2

    Fer the record, you got me. But I still think it was probably the funniest joke of the year.

  17. The Financial Philosopher commented on Apr 2

    This is an interesting observation of human behavior… Of any day in the year to allow oneself to be “fooled,” April 1 should not be the day…

    My six-year old son set his expectations that others would try to “fool” him on April 1. He was prepared. Shouldn’t adults do the same?

    Even if one does not appreciate the games and silliness, the behavior on April 1 should be expected…

    Who really trusts media sources anyway? Should it matter what day of year it is? Isn’t it Barry, himself, that leads by example of doubting the media?

  18. Deborah commented on Apr 2

    I posted that it is a pretty bad indication of the markets when there was more than once in the day where I was reading stuff and I truly could not tell if I was reading truth or a gag…

  19. johnnyb commented on Apr 2

    I second that April fools jokes are really cheesy. Anyone can do them and it takes almost no creative talent. The yuksters love April 1st to pull out the silly jokes. I think the foolsters laugh harder at there own stuff then the people reading them. Usually Barry you are ahead of the curve of dumb things but not here.

  20. daveNYC commented on Apr 2

    The situation is way too meta-recursive-ironic for me to handle.

  21. mike carey commented on Apr 2

    a spoof of a spoof –very cute. well at least i can eliminate one more site from ‘my favorites’ list: ‘The Big Picture’

  22. dug commented on Apr 2

    I thought the funniest thing was it was actually a more plausible explanation for the market action than the inane reasons put forth on CNBC every day.

  23. Todd commented on Apr 8

    Wow…Alen Abelson was punked big time in the current Barron’s. Apparently his crack research Teresa Vozzo didn’t realize that he himself had been cited by Barry’s joke.

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