Friday, June 17, 2011

Are Meredith Whitney and Goldman Sachs Using the Same PR Advisors?

There's a Meredith Whitney profile out at Business Week this morning that is probably the worst PR move in the financial world since Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein declared that GS was doing God's work.

In today's version of "What can I sat to look like an ass?", Whitney tells us that she knew Bear Stearns was going down, but because of the way she moves markets when she speaks, she held back her view and simply wrote a never released note.
From October up to the collapse of Bear Stearns in March, my calls were having an unprecedented influence. If I made a call, it moved the market. I was very aware of the influence I had, and it was daunting. I was very careful with it....

The market is a faith-based system, and this could have turned into a run on the bank. I didn't want to be responsible for accelerating a wave of panic. I was just too scared. I remember not being able to sleep on Wednesday night. You have to be so careful about what you say if you've got the microphone. I wrote a note—but I sat on it.

By Friday, it was game over. I sent out the report. Bear sold on Sunday for $2. I don't regret holding back; I was silent on Lehman for the same reasons...
This is simply idiotic. Analysts live for making the BIG call. And certainly, she was getting paid for her views. What do her clients think about her not warning them about a catastrophic event that rocked markets and that she now tells us she foresaw?

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