Thursday, November 18, 2010

Textbook Example of Complacency

Don't get me started on Ken Fisher, but his comments in this Bloomberg article about PIMCO's concept of the "new normal" are what is idiotic.

Ken Fisher, the billionaire chief executive officer of Fisher Investments Inc., said today that the concept of a “new normal” is “idiotic,” pitting him against Gross and Pimco Chief Executive Mohamed El-Erian, who coined the term to describe a world of high unemployment, more regulation, and the shrinking importance of the U.S. in the global economy. Gross, the founder a Pimco, and El-Erian serve as co-chief investment officers.

“We are chimpanzees with no memory,” Fisher said at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney. “The next 10 years are going to be just as good as the 1990s. The problems in this current environment we think are so different, and so new and so unique. It’s the same stupid old normal we’ve always had. We’ve got a great future.”
The baby boomers believe that because their generation never experienced adversity, it follows that adversity has been banished from history.

P.S. You got me started on Ken Fisher!

Here's what he was saying in October 2007, at the all-time peak of the S&P 500
…you should be … bullish! …The bears are wrong. …By December buybacks and takeovers will both be back and stocks will be soaring.
And here is February 2008:
I seek a parallel and find it only ten years ago. And that makes me bullish. Early 1998 saw financial crises eerily similar to today’s and a lot of hand-wringing about institutions collapsing and setting off a domino chain of other collapses. But guess what? The S&P 500 was up 28% that year.

1 comment:

Taylor Conant said...

Ken Fisher is the penultimate "empiricist". He just released a book which he was touting on CNBC recently whose entire premise seems to rest on Fisher's observation of historical datum. He went on and on (flinging his massive hands around) about how X months after an election with results Y ALWAYS results in a bull market for Z months. No explanation of what factors contribute to that historical observation. He simply believes that because it happened before, it will necessarily happen again.

This is Fisher's attempt at being a "contrarian" and, in many ways, it is his attempt to establish his own "New Normal", because essentially his argument is that we're in some new end-of-history time where, as you mentioned, hard times have been banished forever simply because we've managed to get through the hard times before.

The more CNBC I watch the more I realize that most professional investors are nothing more than witch doctors and shaman. They are absolutely clueless about why things happen. They are damn talented, as Fisher is, at observing what has happened in the past, but they never think past that and ask, Why?

For more stupid things Fisher has said, check here:;%20Ken