Friday, 16 January 2009 23:00

A Direct Challenge to the Mainstream Media (the MSM)

I posted this response in the comments column
of a Wall Street Journal article this morning concerning Morgan
Stanley's downgrading of HSBC bank, the track record of Wall Street
banks in general, and the damage done the net worth of the wealthy. If
you have the time (and are not a reguler reader of the blog), it is
well worth your while to read through the links provided. The challenge
inherent in the statement stands for anybody in mainstream media who
feel they can produce anyone who can come close to even 75% of my
performance. My 3,000 or so subscribers (including Wall Street banks,
large central banks, etc.) seem to think more of boutique blog services
than the mainstream media does.

HSBC was grossly overvalued, and Morgan Stanley was simply asleep at the wheel taking this long to realize it. I saw it clear as day six months ago. See 666: That's the sign of your big broker giving you bad investment advice! <a href="index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=34&Returnid=34&id=754&lang=en&task=edit" onmouseover="return overlib('Published

Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Reggie Middleton', CAPTION, 'Edit', BELOW, RIGHT);" onmouseout="return nd();">

As a matter of fact, it appears that I even saw Morgan Stanley's problems before they did. There problems were blatantly clear 1 year ago. See The Riskiest Bank on the Street!

I have to admit that I sometimes question the mainstream financial media. Wall Street analysts are given an awful lot of undeserved credibility. Has anyone ever marked their performance to market? Oh yeah, I forgot. I did! I released my performance numbers for 2008 and compared them to all major hedge fund indices as well as Citi, MS, JPM and GS - who were down from 21% to over 40% for the year, while my publicly available blog research was up 106% for the same time period covering the same 76 stocks. This is FULLY documented and available for download to anybody who wants to take a real, empirical look at whether theses guys should really be quoted in the media or not. See BoomBustBlog Research Performance for 2008 and Blog-vs.-Broker, Whom do you trust?.

So who should be quoted in the media when it comes to these financial companies, or any companies for that matter? The guys who got it right or the guys who got it wrong. We can even go back a year before last and compare performance in the commercial and residential real estate arena, monoline, PC and life insurance industries, etc. Wall Street was asleep at the wheel and boutique outfits literally ran circles around them. Look at my 2007 numbers in the links above and see if any of those big banks came close. Again, I query! Who should be quoted in the mainstream media more, the guys (or gals, hats off to Meredith on the ballsy Citi call) who got it right or the ones who got it wrong?

Who had buy, hold and positive recommendations on Bear and Lehman right before they went bust? I know I declared publicly months beforehand that these companies were insolvent and would fail! I stated explicitly, without any ambiguity and supplied significant documentation to support the conclusion. see Is this the Breaking of the Bear! from January of 2007! Likewise, Is Lehman really a lying lemming in disguise? from February of 2007 Now I dare you to compare what the big, oft quoted brokerages and media pundits said about these same companies at that time. No, I double dare you! They don't even exist as ongoing concerns now!

I know a few of you are saying, "Who is this guy?" Well, you probably don't know who I am because the press routinely goes to "name brands", without regard for track record, hence routinely tends to circulate opinion that does not necessarily hold water, and that's a nice way of putting it.

I am not naming names or pointing fingers, but you guys in the MSM know who you are.

I probably woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, hence am a little grouchy, but somebody has to say it.

I'll tell you what. I'll issue a challenge to the main stream media. First, append the actual track record of accuracy or performance of any pundit that you quote in your stories. For those in video, put the track record in that little blue ticker thingy at the bottom of the screen. This will probably give the readers/viewers a very different perspective on who is taking and what they are saying. It will also give pause to those who want to throw somebody on TV just because they have X degrees, or worked at Y company, or have been in the media Z times. Your more intelligent viewers or more involved viewers, which can also be translated into those viewers who are much more willing to PAY for content (for those media companies that may be experiencing some difficult financial times due to the fickle, volatile nature of ad revenues) will have a significantly different perspective on both your medium and the guest speaker if this was done. Need I utter the terms "respect", "performance", "credibility"?!?!?!?!?! [For more ideas on how to make money based on luring the right viewers/readers with the right content through interactive social media, see:

  1. A change is gonna' come

  2. Continuing the conversation of the future of main stream media..,

  3. The Future of Main Stream Media, pt 3

  4. Sometimes, to grow, you must stick to your core competencies

  5. Time Warner and the MSM pt. 4

  6. Has the Web and the Blogosphere ushered in the Death of Radio?

These ideas shouldn't be taken too lighttly. the author was able to create a very profitable, rapidly growing media business at a time when the media giants are dropping like flies at a fly swatter convention.

Alas, I digress... and here is the bold faced challenge that I issue to anyone and everyone in the mainstream media, the MSM, as it is called. Find any name brand analyst, often quoted (in the MSM) investor, or pundit or has a track record at least 2/3rds (that' right, you don't even have to match it) as good as my proprietary results on a risk adjusted basis for 2008 and I will charter a yacht and a captain for you and your immediate family for the day, on me - no strings attached.

The kicker is that if you can't find such a highly publicized figure, you will have to admit it on the front page or prime time video spot.

What are the chances I will get any takers on this? Let's put it this way, I don't plan on chartering any yachts in the very near future! I don't want it to seem as if I am boasting (seriously, I'm a rather modest guy), for we all have our bad years, but I do tire of seeing underperformance rewarded and idolized as if it was something to be looked up to.

Wealthy investors need to wake up and smell the coffee as well. It is your net worth that they are destroying, see "Super Brokers form to push Super Broken products to make those with High Net Worth Super Broke."
<a href="index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=34&Returnid=34&id=751&lang=en&task=edit" onmouseover="return overlib('Published

Sunday, 11 January 2009
Reggie Middleton', CAPTION, 'Edit', BELOW, RIGHT);" onmouseout="return nd();">

For the record, I do not manage money for anybody besides my own account. I do not sell investment management services and do not compete with the banks, except for maybe their prop trading desks as they take the losing side to a trade.

Last modified on Friday, 16 January 2009 23:00

1 comment

  • Comment Link Bob Pastor Saturday, 17 January 2009 13:39 posted by Bob Pastor

    The MSM is in the business of keeping the psychology of the masses
    as confident and optimistic re: the markets as possible. It is also
    their job to feed us manure and keep us in the dark so that they
    can manipulate the publics attention into areas of inconsequential
    significance so that the actual important things don't get mentioned.
    Give them the Climate change to fret over; don't dare type a word
    of derivative exposure. Who shot J.R? not the story behind the Fed
    or where the TARP money went. Business as usual until it takes us
    all down. But Happy New Year Reggie...there are always a few who
    do extremely well because they had eyes to see.

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