Looking back, we see it was easy for Wall Street to panic, and drive stocks down to ridiculous prices. You had the high priests of finance and academia touting the next Great Depression, and you had the shortsellers massively profiting from the future collapse of Western Civilization.
Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on Sept. 18 said, “This is clearly the most serious problem since the great depression and in some ways worse in terms of the financial institutions." He said we had at least another 18 months of this.
Peter Morici, former chief economist at the ITC said we were in a Depression in January.
David Rosenberg, then of Merrill Lynch, in his research on January 26 that we were in a depression, and that they usually last 3 to 7 years.
The IMF on Feb 7: Advanced economies are already in a depression.
Barron's on February 9, said that this D-process would be long.
Another person whose crystal ball broke was Ed Balls, Gordon Brown's closest ally, who said on February 10, that Britain would be bust for 15 years, and "the reality is that this is becoming the most serious global recession for, I'm sure, over 100 years, as it will turn out."
On February 21, Paul Volcker said "I don't remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world." He was so negative that CNBC now only left the headlines of the story.
On February 25, Doug Casey said we were in a "Greater Depression."
Former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, said on April 3, "It's a depression." (A month later, on May 7, he said we were possibly poised for recovery. That was fast!)
That same day when Reich said we could recover, "Black Swan" author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, disagreed, saying “This is the most difficult period of humanity that we’re going through today because governments have no control,” and the current global crisis is “vastly worse” than the 1930s because financial systems and economies worldwide have become more interdependent.
One month later, he's loading up on commodities and hawking super inflation in his new fund, as chronicled in the WSJ.
There are plenty of reasons to be worried about the risk of inflation. No wonder "Black Swan" author Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Universa Investments' Mark Spitznagel are launching a new fund to bet on it.
As I've said before, the bears are the market's next black swan. And now, we are already seeing some philosophical changes--starting with the black swan himself!
I could list another 99 examples, but I just wanted to highlight some of the anointed priests of finance-because the penance for these unintentional sins is the same today as it was in the days of Moses:
"If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people he is to present to the LORD a young, unblemished bull as a sin offering for the sin he has committed."
And it looks like the bull is giving us some conversions.
After all, didn't the movie Raging Bull end with this?
"All I know is this: Once I was blind, and now I can see."
And didn't the book start with this?
"This was when everyone said the Depression was ending, but I couldn't see it."
We are still in the unblemished stage of this bull market.
Wait until it gets bloody!