Consistent Inconsistencies

Say what you will about the economy, say what you will about the stock market, say whatever you like about my warning calls, but what you can’t say is “I have no clue.” Have we now entered Bizarro World, or has everyone lost the ability of critical thinking?

I am stunned at how people will verbally contort themselves into rationalizing what they don’t understand into what they believe must be true. It’s as if 2008 never happened, it’s as if everything is back to normal. They’re acting as if ” only they get it..everyone else is too dumb.” If you pose a question to ask a legitimate point in reference to their statements, you might as well have insulted their mother, because that’s how you’re going to be treated. Lucky for me, I’ve seen this movie before.

Being on the forefront or cutting edge of anything is not for the faint of heart. Having an opinion is one thing, but having or creating plans of advice that are actionable or workable is quite another, and for that you need verifiable data. All this brings me back to a statement I wrote in Harry Potter tongue in cheek fashion. “That which shall not be spoken…The numbers don’t add up!

A few years back I was asked to speak and participate on a panel. Attending were some of the largest companies in the U.S. who were rolling out new marketing ideas and commercials that were to splash across all forms of media nation wide that year. At the time, everyone in attendance was giddy about recent sales and market share. Things looked very compelling from an outside view, however what they were no longer interested in talking about was the doldrums they had been in for years before this event. Before the event many were barely profitable, and even more had closed or gone bankrupt, but all were now convinced the “Good Times” were here again and the past be damned. I thought that was foolish, and said so. The response to my statement? ….(insert cricket chirps here.)

As I have stated over, and over again, I hope the economy is on the right track. I hope that the happy feelings that some are feeling never leave, however I can’t drink the “KoolAid” If all was well then why must the Federal Reserve continue with QE2 or else all Armageddon will happen? (there’s now talk of QE3!)  If everything is just ducky, then why was a drop in unemployment looked upon with skepticism? If all is just grand, why are we worried about Municipal Bonds or States defaulting? Another point to remember is the SEC in their investigation of the so-called Flash Crash found nothing nefarious or mechanically wrong that triggered it, so the possibility of it happening again is still on the table. (most have forgotten or ignored that one.)  All this is just scratching the surface, but it’s falling on deaf ears or worse, closed minds.

No one knows the future, and those who say they do should be viewed with a skeptics eye. But what you can’t ignore is data as if it never happened, that’s just stupid in my book. As for that conference I was asked to speak at? Weeks later their market fell apart, their profits fizzled, and a few made headlines in some of the largest corporate bankruptcies in the U.S.

So much for avoiding the punch bowl I guess.

Mark