My BusinessWeek colleague Peter Coy published his worst predictions of 2008–a year that probably embarrassed a lot of pundits and prognosticators.
Coy did not pull any punches. Rep. Barney Frank, President George W. Bush, investor T. Boone Pickens, scammer Bernard Madoff and even Federal reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made the ignominous list.
Here are the top three:
1. “A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off. Hold the fort and keep the faith!” —Richard Band, editor, Profitable Investing Letter, Mar. 27, 2008
At the time of the prediction, the Dow Jones industrial average was at 12,300. By late December it was at 8,500.
2. AIG (AIG) “could have huge gains in the second quarter.” —Bijan Moazami, analyst, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, May 9, 2008
AIG wound up losing $5 billion in that quarter and $25 billion in the next. It was taken over in September by the U.S. government, which will spend or lend $150 billion to keep it afloat.
3. “I think this is a case where Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) are fundamentally sound. They’re not in danger of going under…I think they are in good shape going forward.” —Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services Committee chairman, July 14, 2008
Care to add anymore?