Predicting has always been difficult – so only brave people can do it. Predicting is difficult….especially if it is about the future. This quote has been attributed to Niels Bohr 1922 Nobel Laurette. In various places you will see this quote attributed to Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde!

So let us see what happened to the predictions that people made in Dec 2007 or Jan 2008. This is in the international context because all the predictions could be found in one place. In India some of my colleagues are working on what happened to the Jan 2008 predictions. Hopefully it will make as interesting a story as possible!

Elaine Garzarelli, Stock Guru who predicted the 1987 crash said she was “extremely bullish” about 2008, that the market was at least 25% undervalued and (she said 25% undervalued). She recommended a buy on Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch. If you had done that….

Jim Rogers was still very bullish on China and Commodities. Commodities fell about 40% and China fell 51% – far worse than the S&P 500! However whenever I see Jim on television rarely does he predict for ‘one’ year, but that is the feeling one got. Over the longer term Jim may be right!

Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money – their recomended scrips fell 51% vs. the S&P 500’S 37% fall!

Ken Fisher when asked about 2008 he said a very different kind of equity will be necessary for 2008. When asked will
it be ‘bust’ Ken famously said ‘robust’ not ‘bust’. Though it is possible that he got into the market a little earler than he wanted to, some of predictions fell 55% versus 37% for the broader S&P!

So when you see Cramer or anybody like him predict the short term movement of the market, go to Google and find out about the ‘predictor’. You will learn a lot.
How he benefits by making you churn!

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  1. Dr. Mohammed Ali Khan

    One should ask oneself..

    If these guys can predict accurately why don’t they retire with crores of rupees by correctly timing the stock market rather than being an obscure anchor in a boring financial news channel..

    Also another saying attributed to Mark Twain..
    “If you have to predict, predict often, predict opposite ”

    But I think people like Shiller and Roubini preicted the financial crisis quite accurately.. In fact Mr Nouriel Roubini was labelled “Mr Doom” for constantly warning about a coming crisis.. Also our own Gurumurthy was warning since 2004 about a coming financial crisis originating from the US

    So I think people who predict somewhat accurately do exist.. Its not uncanny or anything but I think that its just pattern recognition and a rational mindset.. But I think that their voices get drowned out in the general euphoria.

    Dear Subra
    As for commodities.. Did you hear about a famous bet between Professor Julian Simon and Paul Erlich ?

    Also in his book “The Ultimate Resourse ” which incidentally is available for free on the internet on
    Julian Simon argues that commodities are virtually infinite and the only finite resourse on this planet in Human Creativity..

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