Bloomberg posts a short news story on some UBS analyst trying to make a name for himself by coming up with an outlandish positive number at a time when nobody else is optimistic.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which tumbled 42 percent to 848.81 this year, may rally 53 percent to 1,300 by the end of 2009, David Bianco wrote in a note dated yesterday.

I love that Bloomberg juxtaposes that sentence with the following:

The New York-based strategist, who a year ago predicted a 2008 advance of 16 percent for the S&P 500, is now forecasting a gain that would exceed the index’s best annual performance on record.


I guess you might as well triple down if you’ve been that wrong.

I only wish Bloomberg had written that predicting which way the market will go is a fool’s game; putting a number on it—and a crazy one at that—is a charlatan’s. And it could have pointed out that analysts are, as a herd, way too bullish.

Fortunately, the Berg does let the analyst hang himself with his own rope, at least in a writerly way.

“The consensus outlook for 2009 is a full year of gloom,” Bianco, 33, wrote in his 2009 market outlook. “We believe 2009 will bring signs of a dawn in confidence with the first faint light appearing earlier than most investors expect.”

It was a dark and stormy night…

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.