Last week Disclosures shared a few of the choice idiocies that financial writer and Motley Fool contributor Morgan Housel comes across every day. And, as he reports, there's plenty more of it out there:
"Earnings missed estimates."
No. Earnings don't miss estimates; estimates miss earnings. No one ever says "the weather missed estimates." They blame the weatherman for getting it wrong. Finance is the only industry where people blame their poor forecasting skills on reality.
"He predicted the market crash in 2008."
He also predicted a crash in 2006, 2004, 2003, 2001, 1998, 1997, 1995 …
"Our bullish case is conservative."
Then it's not a bullish case. It's a conservative case. Those words mean opposite things.
"The Dow is down 50 points as investors react to news of [x]."
Stop it, you're just making stuff up. "Stocks are down and no one knows why" is the only honest headline in this category.
"We're constructive on the market."
I have no idea what that means. I don't think you do, either.
Coca-Cola is milking it
You'd think Coca-Cola would have learned its lesson from the New Coke fiasco when it reformulated one of the world's best-known brands to make it even "better," only to turn tail after its disastrous reception. Now Coke is boasting it has developed a new and improved version of – get ready for it – milk.
During Coke's presentation at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer Conference last week, global chief customer officer and president for North America Sandy Douglas said that Fairlife, due in stores in late December, represents "basically the premiumization of milk. "
Mr. Douglas said "a proprietary milk filtering process" allows them to increase protein by 50 per cent, cut sugar by 30 per cent, and remove lactose. With that, Coke will produce a milk "that's premiumized and tastes better and we'll charge twice as much for it as the milk [we're] used to buying in a jug."
At double the price, your wallet better be premiumized, too.
Poland's candid central bank chief
Central bankers have to take particular care in the words they choose when market observers parse each one for clues about what they're thinking. But at Poland's central bank, the Governor's message has been loud and clear.
In a conversation with Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz at a Warsaw restaurant, Marek Belka was caught on tape insulting the rate-setting monetary policy council, and, since the recordings were leaked five months ago, things have deteriorated to the point Mr. Belka has lost any influence on the panel, according to Bloomberg.
People with knowledge of the MPC meetings said Jerzy Hausner, who was the target of personal slurs, won't even look at the Governor, said one of the people (who unsurprisingly asked not to be identified), and the effects of the dysfunctional 10-member council are being felt by investors, with mixed signals being sent out about rates.
Policy makers surprised the market this month by keeping borrowing costs unchanged, just one meeting after Mr. Belka signalled a possible series of cuts.
"Given the level of animosity against him by some members, there has been a total breakdown of the Governor's normal role, which is to form consensus, steer discussions, establish a framework," said Peter Attard Montalto, an emerging-markets strategist at Nomura International in London.
The world goes shopping
Happy Black Friday. Who could have imagined that the day the Pilgrim Fathers traditionally ventured out in search of deep discounts on maize, furs and weird-looking squashes would become a cherished American holiday, observed not just at home but, increasingly, around the world.
The annual retail extravaganza first crossed the border into Canada about five years ago, but has since jumped the pond to be embraced by other countries, Bloomberg reports.
Germany's Conrad Electronic is promoting what it calls Black Weekend, South African supermarket chain Checkers is slashing some prices as much as 50 per cent and French online store La Redoute is offering deals for what it calls "Le Black Friday." Les bargains, presumably.
The continentals are lagging Britain, where Amazon.com first introduced the idea in 2010, and it has since spread to several big chains, with retail biggies Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's hopping aboard this year. British shoppers are expected to spend about 20 per cent more than usual on the day, according to researcher Mintel.
For those whose wallets and legs are exhausted after Black Friday, be grateful that the following day in North America is Buy Nothing Day.
Should have flown business class
You may not be flying in style, but at least Russian regional airline Katekavia gets you where you want to go. As long as you`re willing to give them a hand, that is.
More than 70 passengers, mostly workers in the oil and gas fields, who were flying to Krasnoyarsk, Russia, on Tuesday from Igarka, a town 100 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, disembarked to help push a Tu-134 aircraft down the runway after its landing gear reportedly froze in minus-50-degree temperatures, the Moscow Times reports.
Vladimir Artyomenko, director of Katekavia, denied other reports that the plane's chassis or brakes iced up, telling Russian news agency Interfax that the truck used to tow the plane for takeoff was sliding on the icy runway and so unable to do its job.
Siberian authorities are investigating whether air safety regulations were breached, as Russia has strict rules prohibiting passengers from push-starting their flights.