No. of Recommendations: 27
TMFOtter, what I don't get is how you and everyone else is suddenly so damn smart about the Internet bubble. Of course it was obvious to you what was going on because you are a noted genius.

Seriously, I am sure you believed the hype during the bubble, as I did, as a lot of people did, and as the analysts did.

Ferret, you're picking on the wrong guy in this case. I did see the bubble and called it as such, in advance. I 'is' so damn smart about the internet bubble because I was always so damn smart about the Internet bubble.

Which is, of course, not entirely correct, I did lose some money in CMGI. There was also this wonderful canard with PSINet. I'm not particularly smug about my record in toto, because I made some pretty good mistakes. But listening to analysts wasn't one of them, and getting hoodwinked by a bubble and miserable analysis of financials wasn't either.

Ah, you probably don't believe me. Fine.

1999. December. Do you want more?

December 1999. Internet Capital Group's valuation is "just nuts".

Or how about this? November 1999. "I believe that 80% of all people who own Cisco should not."

October 1999.

So what would make me anxious? Well, adverse news directly effecting the long-term ability of my companies to make market beating returns, for one. Things like rapidly expanding corporate debt, product inferiority, gross mismanagement, or long periods of recession.

I can't go back much farther because the first column I ever wrote for the Fool was in September 99. I think you get the idea.

You don't? OK, here's the one where I called big-cap tech stocks "sucker bets", in May 2000.

September 2000: Do these valuations seem screwy?

Well the analysts weren't, and I would guess you weren't at the time either TMFOtter.

Do you get the picture, Ferret? You're talking to the wrong guy, and there are plenty more where these came from. Q.E.D.

Or maybe I am wrong and you really are the all-knowing creature you pass yourself off as. In which case, I would gladly have you manage my money. I will even pay you a very high expense ratio if you really know as much as you imply. Then, with my managment fees you can quit working for this rag known as

Ah, the true point of your note, a snide jab at the place I work, and to make some vague reference about the size of your portfolio. No, I have no interest in managing your money, but thanks for the offer. I like my job, which is the only reason that I do it.

Now, why did I take on the analysts? Because APPARENTLY there is this psychological need by some (many) to believe that SOMEONE has some semblence of control and knowledge about the market. And so they believe the analysts. I have always said that bad analysis should not be a crime. I said it to Congress and I say it again to you. And the Fool has ALWAYS said it. Who the hell do you think "the Wise" were, Ferret? But the system is corrupt. I believe that there should be no recourse for individuals to recover money from these firms. They were stupid enough to listen, and the market does not help those who don't help themselves.

And I talk about the analyst community so perhaps next time just one additional person will take heed and ask "How do they get paid"? or "Does this valuation make sense?" People got ripped off blind, man. That they were defenseless is no excuse for lying to them.

Bill Mann
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