Reviewing — and Roasting — the Perma-Bears

There is a terrific cover story on the PermaBears in the upcoming BusinessWeek.

I spoke with the reporter about some of the bears discussed in the article on background. The March 2009 bullish call managed to keep me off the Perma-bear list, and for that, I am grateful.

The article looks at the “bearish forecasters who rose to fame in the market crash of 2008” and who have, for the most part, “not surrendered their pessimism.” BW divides the dismal forecasters into three groups: The Grizzlies, the Bears with Less Bite, and the Domesticated.

The Grizzlies:

Nouriel Roubini
Robert Prechter
Peter Schiff
Michael Panzner
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Marc Faber

BW looks at the track record and history of each of the Grizzlies. They really roast Roubini, Prechter and Schiff for being early (Roubini) for missing bull markets (Prechter) or making money losing bets (Schiff); They seem to have better things to say about the track records of Panzner, Taleb and Faber.

Bears with Less Bite

Gary Shilling
Stephen Roach
Meredith Whitney
David Rosenberg

Less criticism — including a nice write up of my catamaran and diving buddy Gary Shilling (whose wife is lovely) and of the cool calm approach of Think Tank contributor David Rosenberg.


Jeremy Grantham
James Grant

What can you say about the above to that is anything less than laudatory? “Even the most sophisticated people have difficulty switching world views, especially after their views have been affirmed.” BW praises these two for recognizing that, and “trying hard to change.”

One small caveat: I know most of the people on the list personally — I have broken bread with Roubini, Panzner, Taleb, Shilling and Rosenberg; I also greatly admire Faber, Grant and especially Grantham. So I have absolutely zero objectivity when it comes to evaluating these people.

Regardless, the entire article is well worth your time . . .


Time to Slip into Something Less Comfortable?
Jessica Silver-Greenberg
BusinessWeek, June 10, 2010

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