Experts Forecast — ‘We have no idea’

January 17, 2016

Picasso_bird_goat_dancingDrizzling rain right now this Sunday afternoon on California’s north coast as apparently the bulk of our latest storm has moved eastward, and maybe down to sprinkles for us by early evening.
According to the NWS, two-inches of rain already just this morning, coupled to a drizzle near-continuous, and after a short break, another heavy dunking due later tonight, early tomorrow.

Local forecasts are pretty accurate for the most part — my weather comes from Weather Underground and the NWS — though, any prediction in all kinds of shit is really just making an ‘educated guess‘ on something.
Interesting feature last Thursday on financial forecasts at A Wealth of Common Sense and a outlook-report for markets in 2016 — key point:

Its three authors, Paul Hickey, Justin Walters and George Pearkes, began their 2016 forecast with this disarming statement: “We have no idea.”

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Musician, Dancer, Goat & Bird,’ found here).

And this non-prediction comes from supposedly a top-notch financial group, called ‘most useful and certainly honest‘ in its insight on Wall Street — even the ‘authors‘ hedge themselves:

That’s probably the last thing you wanted to hear from us regarding our views towards the next year in the stock market.
“In all honesty, though, to try and look out one year from now and tell people what the market will or will not do is a fool’s errand.”

Also in the Common Sense piece was this from ‘legendary‘ investor Howard Marks, though, in discussing possible impact of the rising Fed rate on the US economy, could actually frame the prediction-factor for a shitload of subjects: “The answer is very simple: We don’t know. And anybody who thinks he knows is kidding himself.”

(h/t to Barry Ritholtz’s The Big Picture — best site for business shit, check it at least once a day, even well-beyond financial news, most-noteworthy Ritholtz’s elastic-eclectic daily ‘Reads‘ list; today’s version contained the above link).

Reality of the financial paper world is indeed already vectored onto a ‘fool’s errand.’
From Bloomberg:

Not even the pessimists on Wall Street thought things would go so wrong so fast in 2016.
For the first time in 12 years, oil is below $30 a barrel.
China is struggling to prop up its slowing economy and calm its volatile stock market.
For the moment, the bears have the upper hand — and January is only half over.
As the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 391 points on Friday, investors the world over seemed to be groping for any good news.
While most money managers kept their cool, few offered assurances the U.S. market would bounce back soon, as it did after a similar bout of turmoil last August.

The triggers for the upheaval are familiar — China and oil — and the anxiety is the usual one.
“It comes down to one basic fear, which is the global economy,” said Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist for BlackRock Inc., which manages $4.5 trillion.
“What people are afraid of is this isn’t investors overreacting, but reflects a fundamental deterioration in growth.”

All that explains why more than $5 trillion has been erased from global equities in the most dismal start to any year on record.
At Friday’s close, more than half of the 45 markets tracked by Bloomberg had entered a bear market decline of at least 20 percent from their recent peaks.

Hence, the ‘no idea‘ proposition-stance, though, in its simplicity does create without suggestion a frightful financial forecast…

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