I’ve confessed here many times — and on TV — that I generally have an economically sunny disposition, and that I definitely tilt to a more bullish than bearish view. But that said, I have real trouble with the Ben Stein/Don Luskin/other view that says bears caused the current market downturn by scaring average investors.
Here is an example from Mssr Luskin’s latest:
ARE YOU SATISFIED, all you permabears who have been preaching financial Armageddon — for years? Your patience in the face of reality has finally paid off. You’ve talked the American public into outright panic, and so now we’ve got the first real stock market break since the present bull market began in early 2003.
Cmon, be serious. Because while I’m assuming that’s mostly rhetoric, it is still bullshit. Bears didn’t cause the current market downturn. To the extent that you can tie it to a narrow list of things, it was caused by growing uncertainty about the likelihood of a consumer-led U.S. recession — on the back of major credit market problems, etc. No-one scared investors into selling while the economy was ticking along, and to suggest as much, is, or at least should be, offensive to intelligent investors everywhere.