David Rosenberg, Gluskin Sheff’s Chief Economist, had some harsh words for some of the permabears who criticized his 2011 flip from being bearish to bullish:
“there are segments of the perma-bear community that literally live their lives on the lunatic fringe.
This is heavier than religion, the Tea Party or Red Sox Nation for that matter. To these fanatics, if the market rallies, it is due to some unholy alliance somewhere, and if the market dives, it is a case of good triumphing over evil.
Seriously, I have been in this business for 30 years and never before have found such emotion residing in the bear camp — a camp I belonged to from 2000 to 2012.”
It’s easy to criticize permabears and permabulls. They are essentially broken records and people who generally have an agenda of some sort. That is, the world is never really falling apart permanently and the economy is never in a permanent state of expansion. So people who harp on these extremist positions really aren’t saying anything all that interesting or useful.
Of course, David Rosenberg has come under fire for doing what many Wall Street analysts simply won’t do – express a bearish opinion. Rosenberg’s flexibility is a welcome change in a business where biases and dogma often rule the commentary. In a world as dynamic as the financial world it’s nice to see an analyst actually expressing some form of a flexible view and a willingness to change his opinion when the facts change. Like all forecasters, he’s not going to be right 100% of the time, but at least he’s expressing an original and thoughtful opinion unlike so many of the broken records who perpetually repeat their bullish or bearish opinions in varying forms on a daily basis.