Thursday, March 12, 2009

Business News Revisited - Jon Stewart

I Wish I Watched Comedy Central

I don't watch the Jon Stewart Show although I hear he is a very funny guy. On March 6 I wrote a piece, Beware The Misleading Nature of 24 Hour Business News commenting on the caveat emptor approach that viewers and investors need to take.

"Now on these shows the guests are presented as true experienced and capable market professionals, and as such are viewed by viewers with the impression that they may actually know what they are talking about. They are typically also almost always bullish. They will tell you about the HISTORIC, ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY that this crushing sell-off is presenting. Many of these are the same analysts and prognosticators that said with 99% certainty that the lows set in the chart above in November 2008 would hold and that at that point the market represented a great buying opportunity."

On March 5, unbeknownst to me (or else I would have used it), Jon Stewart did a scathing 8 minute bit on CNBC and how they are basically what we all should know them to be, shills for the market (to only go up) and for the advertisers on the network. Most importantly, neither the hosts or guests are really any smarter than you or I when it comes to where the markets or individual stocks are going. They are momentum driven, reactive and staters of the obvious disguised by flashy words.

A perfect example of the cheerleading happened yesterday morning on the day after a 379 point rise in the Dow, with the accompanying speculation as to whether the one day move in the markets represented the end of the bear and beginning of the bull. Now as a former trader it would be absolutely normal after a huge move up to expect a pullback, at least at the open. The anchors were on the verge of tears when the futures were actually up but tepid.

None of us are smart enough to know whether we will have a leg up from here. You would expect one after the long and sharp move down, but the one sure thing is that there is no sure thing. and that the only locks are on doors. And that the dartboard approach to the market would be just as effective as listening to one of the shills.

Enjoy the clip:

The Jon Stewart Show

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