Barton Biggs Talk

by: Mike Steinhardt

It was great to see Bloomberg cover this story about Barton Biggs saying we are near a bottom:  Biggs Says U.S. Stocks `Close to Bottom,’ May Rally.

It reminded me of Biggs Talk (as in “to talk big”) from March 14, 2008  Here is the Bloomberg article from back then titled Barton Biggs Expects 1,000-Point Gain in Dow Average.

It also reminded me of Biggs Talk from March 5, 2008.  Here is the Bloomberg article from back then titled U.S. Stocks May Surge 15% in Next Few Months, Barton Biggs Says.  I especially like how Bloomberg credits Biggs for his great bottom calling in August and March of 2007.

Biggs correctly forecast stocks would rebound from declines in March and August last year.

On March 16, following a 4.6 percent decline by the S&P 500 from its Feb. 20 peak, he said stocks were approaching a bottom and predicted a gain of as much as 15 percent for the index in 2007. The S&P 500 rose as much as 12 percent from that level before paring its annual gain to 3.5 percent.

On Aug. 16, after a 9.4 percent decline by the index, Biggs said it was bottoming and predicted a rebound. The benchmark rose 11 percent during the next seven weeks.

But before we get to those calls, I was reminded of Biggs Talk from February 11, 2008.  Here is the Bloomberg article from back then titled  U.S. Stocks Near an `Important Bottom,’ Biggs Says.   Some really great stuff in that one about how he didn’t expect a recession and how cheap the markets were and how the rally might be led higher by banks and brokers.

And now for that August 16, 2007 Biggs Talk that Bloomberg loved to cite for his credibility at making bottoming calls.  Here is the Bloomberg coverage from back then titled Biggs of Traxis Says Fed Will Cut Rates, Sees Rally in S&P 500.   You can watch the video of his interview where he says “I think we are putting in a bottom.”  And especially that one about how he thinks it was a “huge overreaction to the problems in the mortgage market.  They are serious but they are not as serious as the markets are making them out to be.”

As for the March 16, 2007 Biggs Talk….watch the Bloomberg video here.   Once again….the market was bottoming…and the subprime problem is “just another bubble bursting” and he doesn’t think we will have a recession and he doesn’t expect a decline in nominal house prices and he is bullish and he expected the S&P to increase 15% in 2007.

Okay, so do you need me to provide commentary once again about what I think when the media trots out a big time investor and suggests that a bottom is forming?

I won’t do it.  I don’t have the credibility for my market timing.  Barton manages billions of dollars in a hedge fund and I do not.