Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Folly of Predictions
There are some days that are like Christmas for a sports fan. Like the day that NFL team schedules are released and you start adding up "win, win, loss, loss, win..."
Then there's the day when author and outstanding columnist for ESPN.com's Page 2 Gregg Easterbrook delivers his annual "look back" column about so-called "expert" predictions.
They are, in short, hilarious.
Please take the time to soak in this entire column, taking careful note of how absurdly wrong so many financial "experts" have been during our national meltdown
Specifically, how about that Jim Cramer on "Mad Money." Nice work, clown. Here's the key paragraph.
On March 11, 2008, James Cramer, arm-waving star of the cable investing show "Mad Money," declared, "Bear Stearns is fine, Bear Stearns is not in trouble ... don't move your money." Over the next three days, Bear Stearns stock dropped from $71 to $10. On July 16, 2008, when the Dow Jones Industrials was at about 11,500, Cramer advised viewers to "buy, buy, buy" because the stock market had bottomed out and would rise; five months later, the Dow had fallen to about 8,500. On June 24, Cramer said Wachovia Bank was "crash material" and urged viewers to sell Wachovia stock, then trading at $18. On Sept. 19, Cramer called Wachovia "a strong buy" at $14, saying the company was "likely to be a winner" in the federal bailout-a-rama. Two weeks later, Wachovia was essentially liquidated, with stockholders receiving $7 per share. A few days after that -- after Cramer had given a succession of spectacularly bad financial advice that would have caused anyone who listened to lose his or her shirt -- "The Today Show" had Cramer on to give financial advice.
Now, when you are done reading this excellent piece by Easterbrook, stop for a moment and consider what Al Gore and his band of scaremongering idiots are selling with the concept of catastrophic manmade global warming.
They are certain - CERTAIN - that they know what the earth's overall temperature will be 100 years from now. Why? They have models, and computers.
Uh huh. Predictions. Let's face it, we're just not that good at 'em. Any of us.