If only no one had mentioned Fannie or Freddie over the weekend . . .
After a Yahoo Tech Ticker appearance earlier this month (Battle Over the Bottom in Financials) I received one of my all time favorite pieces of email.
It was so damned good I simply had to pass it along:
Tue 8/12/2008 4:01 PM
Investor Type: Individual
Investor Assets: Less than $1 Million
Interested in: FusionIQ Investor service
Heard about at: Yahoo.
Dear Barry Ritholtz
I just heard your commentary on Yahoo’s Tech Ticker. It’s this type of commentary that creates the psychological reaction that is the \”real\” cause and effect of these troubling times and rapid swings in the market. Granted, there are fundamental difficulties in the market, but perhaps you should just report on the known facts and not on pure speculation that you are probably using to profit from.
I’m just a concerned individual investor, who just like the countless millions of other investors, see their investments get zapped every time an analyst makes a comment unfounded by actual facts.
Quell the commentary!
Before dissecting the content, a few errata worth noting: The emailer was anonymous (as cowards often are). I love the utter refusal to acknowledge
reality, and the blame shifting — classic! It may as well have been Phil “Mental Recession” Gramm himself.
Now let’s move onto this bit of ignorant, foolish, BenSteinery:
1) The Yahoo chat was a mostly factual discussion of Financials, and how 3 different analysts saw them; (Of course, anything discussing a bad sector is negative and should therefore be ignored!)
2) What is opinion and what is fact is clearly defined (assuming you are even half intelligent);
3) The opinion portion is the same old song and dance I have been discussing for the the better part of 3 years — and its why we have avoided owning the Financials for so long; Why should this old perspective be having an impact now — but not in 2005/06, when it was virtually ignored?
4) I move markets? I don’t think so;
5) Had our emailer done their homework, perhaps they might not be so buried in financials, banks and brokers. If they weren’t blind speculators throwing darts, that might not be getting slaughtered.
6) Seeing commentary as the problem, as opposed to the fundamental issues as what’s wrong, is a form of denial. Its the same intellectual failure as refusing to admit there is a recession.
7) All of the above is OK, as it helps a prime function of the market: It is the markets’ job to reallocate money from the ignorant to the intelligent, from the lazy to the hard working and studious; from the naive to the educated, and from the speculator to the investor.
Quell the Commentary? Never!
The Battle Over the Bottom in Financials (August 2008)
Street Fight: Analysts Battle Over the Bottom in Financials
Yahoo, August 12, 2008