Trend: Wall Street is bullish 95% of the time.
Paul B. Farrell at MarketWatch describes the misleading consistency of Wall Street promotion.
Paul Farrell selected 16 of the best quotes put together by Greg Eckler and L.M. Mac Donald, the authors of Bull!, reshuffling them in logical time sequence. They tell a fascinating story about how B.S. drove the 1999 run-up. And how, even after the bubble exploded and the bear was mauling them, Wall Street kept B.S.ing America, incapable of stopping its addiction to the official language.
As you read this script, note that although specific facts are different today than six years ago, the dramatic motivation driving today's dialogue is the same as earlier for all these B.S. artists. Also remember, the Dow peaked at 11,722 in January 2000 and didn't bottom for 32 months, in October 2002 at 7286, losing $8 trillion in market cap along the way.
March 1999: Harry S. Dent, author of The Roaring 2000s
"There has been a paradigm shift." (Translation: "This time it's different, a New Economy!")
October 1999: James Glassman, author Dow 36,000
"What is dangerous is for Americans not to be in the market. We're going to reach a point where stocks are correctly priced, and we think that's 36,000 ... It's not a bubble. Far from it. The stock market is undervalued." (Warning, don't choke on your popcorn!)
December 1999: Joseph Battipaglia, market analyst
"Some fear a burst Internet bubble, but our analysis shows that Internet companies account for only 7% of the overall Nasdaq market cap but carry expected long-term growth rates twice those of other rapidly growing segments within tech." (The Internet Index lost two-thirds in the next six months.)
December 1999: Larry Wachtel, Prudential
"Most of these stocks are reasonably priced. There's not reason for them to correct violently in the year 2000." (Fact: The Nasdaq lost 50% in 2000.)
December 1999: Ralph Acampora, Prudential Securities
"I'm not saying this is a straight line up. I'm not saying you can't have pauses. I'm saying any kind of declines, buy them!" (He also predicted a 14,000 Dow by the end of 2000 and an 11-year bull.)
February 2000: Larry Kudlow, CNBC commentator
"This correction will run its course until the middle of the year. Then things will pick up again, because not even Greenspan can stop the Internet economy." (He's still an economist, hosting his own show.)
April 2000: Myron Kandel, CNN
"The bottom line is, before the end of the year, the Nasdaq and Dow will be at new record highs." (Later in September he predicted a rally to 12,000 by election day.)
September 2000: Jim Cramer, CNBC commentator
"SUNW probably has the best near-term outlook of any company I know." (Within four months Sun Microsystems went from $60 to $30, down to $10 in a year, below $3 in two years.)
November 2000: Louis Rukeyser on CNN
"Over the next year or two [the stock market] will be higher, and I know over the next five to 10 years it will be higher." (We crashed, fell into a recession, and in two years tech lost 70%.)
December 2000: Jeffrey Applegate, Lehman strategist
"The bulk of the correction is behind us, so now is the time to be offensive, not defensive." (That's a sucker's rally.)
December 2000: Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan
"The three- to five-year earnings projections of more than a thousand analysts, though exhibiting some signs of flattening in recent months, have generally held firm. Such expectations, should they persist, bode well for continued capital deepening and sustained growth." (And the curtain opened revealing the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.!)
January 2001: Suze Orman, financial guru
"In the low 60s here, I think the QQQ, they're a buy. They may go down, but if you dollar-cost average, where you put money every single month into them, I think, in the long run, it's the way to play the Nasdaq." (The QQQ fell 60% further.)
March 2001: Maria Bartiromo, CNBC anchor
"The individual out there is actually not throwing money at things that they do not understand, and is actually using the news and using the information out there to make smart decisions." (Yes, she's serious.)
April 2001: Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs
"The time to be nervous was a year ago. The S&P then was overvalued, it's now undervalued." (Unfortunately, the markets continued down for another 18 months).
August 2001: Lou Dobbs, CNN
"Let me make it very clear. I'm a bull, on the market, on the economy. And let me repeat, I am a bull." (Within a year the Dow and Nasdaq lost a third more).
June 2002: Larry Kudlow, CNBC
"The shock therapy of decisive war will elevate the stock market by a couple thousand points." (He also predicted the Dow would hit 35,000 by 2010.)