Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wall Street Lays Another Egg

In a postscript on my postscript below, those of you who are market mavens will have duly noted that all the averages took another swan dive today, with the closely watched (though not always representative) Dow Jones Industrials down a whopping 358.

A lot of it's due to the analyst antics I described below. And more of the usual suspects piling on, with an ever-cockier Qaddafi threatening to cut HIS oil production, with the white collar workers at a Nigerian facility deciding to strike(!), and with everyone telling the Fed they should have RAISED interest rates yesterday. Which of course would have even put more bullets in the already bullet-riddled corpses of the banks. The HEALTH of which banks is still the main reason the Fed was chartered in the first place.

The press loves to yowl about "epidemics," most of which are caused by Bush. Well, I think we have an epidemic right here, right now. An epic of stupidity and irresponsibility on the part of the analysts as well as the always clueless so-called business media.

Example: Here's a lede from that should win a Pulitzer Prize for Stupidity and Asininity:
U.S. stocks tumbled, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worst June since the Great Depression, as record oil prices, credit-market writedowns and a slowing economy threatened to extend a yearlong profit slump.
How does the writer KNOW it's the worst June since the Great Depression? What's the yardstick? What's the date? How high were the Industrials back then, 400? (That's two zeroes, not 3.) Where's the context? What the hell is this, a baseball game where you throw out useless stats while the new pitcher warms up on the mound?

The report drops this eyecatching little bomb and never follows up with the pertinent information. But the lede leaves the average reader in about the same state as the beautiful, buxom blonde teenager who opens the door only to find Jason and his eversharp blade staring back at her. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

What I am afraid of these days is the near zero-base of knowledge and responsibility that's being exhibited by the Wall Street press these days. It's only making matters worse.

BTW, I'm off once again to Cleveland tomorrow, still ground zero in the land of foreclosures.

Jeez, what a year.

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