Nine Surprises to Expect in 2009

by: Eric Fox

In the spirit of Byron Wien, who every year releases a list of surprises to expect during the coming year, I submit my own surprises for 2009:

1. Investors stop listening to the talking heads on TV after realizing that they are on TV to shill for their own portfolio and not to help them out.

2. Jim Cramer is finally institutionalized after changing his mind ten times in one week about a stock.

3. Commodity bulls admit that oil futures are no different than any other financial instrument and that there are speculators in the oil futures market. The speculators are rounded up, taken to the basement of the Federal Reserve in New York, and hung by the neck with piano wire.

4. After blinding leading individual investors into commodities, the third great investment bubble in ten years, the Sell Side is prohibited from recommending any stock or other investment ever. The terms Buy, Sell and Accumulate are replaced with “the hell if I know.”

5. The term “smart money” is banned from being used in the financial media. A crowd of investors burns an effigy of “smart money” at the corner of Wall and Broad Street.

6. After hiding out for months during the Energy Bear market, Matt Simmons is finally located in Carthage, Illinois and beaten by a crowd of angry peak oil enthusiasts. He is quoted as being “flabbergasted” by his treatment by the mob.

7. Hedge Funds admit that Hedge Funds are not a separate asset class. “We just go long and short stocks, bonds and derivatives like everyone else.”

8. Shareholder activist investors admit that they don’t really care about the long-term health of the companies they are targeting. “We just want the stocks to go up in the short term, and then dump our position at a profit. We have to say we are long term investors so management will listen to us.”

9) Investors start investing rationally, they ignore rumors, they weigh stocks rather than vote for them.