Archive for the ‘Predictions’ Category

“Challenging Cooperman”

Last October the widely respected founder and Chairman of Omega Advisors, Mr. Leon Cooperman, saw signs of a bottom in the markets. The Dow was around 9,200 that day and the S&P was just below 1,000 points.

After reading his comments and based on my own informal research I sent Mr. Cooperman a letter and a copy of my book, “Final Audit.” I issued Mr. Cooperman a challenge, a friendly one, stating that the market would continue to tumble and that we would be lucky if it bottomed near 7,000 on the Dow and 740 on the S&P.

We know what happened in March!

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“Shades of Enron and WorldCom”

Eight short years ago the Markets were shocked by the December bankruptcy filing of Enron, one of the largest corporations in the country. It was the biggest bankruptcy in history. Just six months later WorldCom filed bankruptcy becoming the new largest recorded bankruptcy.

These two failures shook the markets sending stocks into a tailspin. Enron became the poster child for corporate corruption and executive greed leading the way to a series of corporate scandals including Adelphia, Tyco, ImClone, and Global Crossing. The perfect setting for Murder!

The corruption and greed became the backdrop for “Final Audit,” an exciting novel about executives from bankrupt corporations dying. As I wrote this ‘mystriguing’ first novel my research took me beyond the immediate scandals to the avarice, arrogance, and abhorrent behavior prevalent in Corporate America.

Many were responsible for the collapses of Enron and WorldCom. But the important issue would be what they learned from the failures and what they would do to prevent this happening in the future.

So what did we learn? And how did we apply those lessons? Read the rest of this entry »

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“September, the Beginning of the Fall!”

In September the landscape changes bringing with it hues of gold and red, orange and maize, as Summer moves on to Fall. Beautiful colors that remind us winter, and harsher weather is approaching.

To think that such exhilarating, breath-taking beauty could succumb to cold, wintry days is a stark reminder that ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay.’

And so it is with the markets. The Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ have languished all summer in hues of gold and green. But will September bring fall to the markets; turning gold into maize and greens into browns?

September is notoriously a bad month for stocks. After the sleepy, halcyon days of summer the month of September traditionally brings varying levels of negativism which historically has pulled the markets down.

There are many reasons to believe that the September tradition will continue this year and possibly move the markets downward through the end of the year.

Last year in early October, after a negative September, I issued a friendly challenge to a prominent member of the investment community. At the time the Dow was at 9,200 and he saw several signs of a bottom. I offered that we would be extremely lucky if the Dow remained above 7,000, predicted that unemployment would exceed 8%, and foreclosures in 2009 would exceed the record number of 2008.

All of my predictions were correct, even earlier than I had anticipated, which led me to immediately rethink the next level and in late February I readjusted my predictions. After the March 9th low I wrote an Op-Ed to the Wall Street Journal entitled, “The Dow at 6,000.”

There were many reasons for deeper pessimism when I sent the article on April 2nd despite the nearly month long rise in the markets. Those reasons linger and  have increased despite the five month rise in the markets.

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“The Dow at 6,000” (reposted)

Last September, when the Dow was at 9,200 I told several people that we’d be lucky if the Dow managed to stay above 7,000. Now, I predict we’re faced with a Dow at 6,000 or less, maybe even this month. Submitted as an Op-Ed to the Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2009.

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Originally posted – April 2, 2009

It’s been one bumpy ride for Wall Street since the beginning of 2008. It’s been volatile and unpredictable; a bit like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the chaotic and exciting children’s ride at Disneyland. I would have used the E Ticket analogy, but many of the traders would not have understood the classic reference to the level of volatility.

Traders, brokerages, pundits, and analysts vacillate from grave concern to irrational exuberance in the same day, and sometimes in the span of a single hour. It becomes increasingly difficult to predict the direction of the market when the market itself is so capricious.

Some say the volatility is caused by a lack of clear direction from the government. They decry the intervention of the government in private enterprise, protesting that it is leading to socialization. But in the words of the now infamous former Senator, Phil Gramm, they’re a bunch of “Whiners.” Read the rest of this entry »

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