Here is a list of the 10 worst financial predictions made in 2008 as compiled by Peter Coy (who included himself as number 10 on the list) at Yahoo. You can find the original article by clicking here. I have added links to the names the author refers to for reference. Compare the financial predictions made by the so called experts with the advice given by spiritual experts at the end of the article.
Here are some of the worst predictions that were made about 2008. Savor them -- a crop like this doesn't come along every year.
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 (NYSE:AIG - News) "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. (If you click on his name, it will link you to a recent Forbes listing which placed Bijan and the 3rd best insurance stock picker. My question is, who was last on the list, and what did they pick?)
3. "I think this is a case where Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE - News) and Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM - News) 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
Two months later, the government forced the mortgage giants into conservatorships and pledged to invest up to $100 billion in each.
4. "I'm not an economist but I do believe that we're growing." —President George W. Bush, in a July 15, 2008 press conference
Nope. Gross domestic product shrank at a 0.5% annual rate in the July-September quarter. On Dec. 1, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared that a recession had begun in December 2007.
5. "I think Bob Steel's the one guy I trust to turn this bank around, which is why I've told you on weakness to buy Wachovia." —Jim Cramer, CNBC commentator, Mar. 11, 2008
Two weeks later, Wachovia came within hours of failure as depositors fled. Steel eventually agreed to a takeover by Wells Fargo. Wachovia shares lost half their value from Sept. 15 to Dec. 29.
6. "Existing-Home Sales to Trend Up in 2008" -- Headline of a National Association of Realtors press release, Dec. 9, 2007
On Dec. 23, 2008, the group said November sales were running at an annual rate of 4.5 million -- down 11% from a year earlier -- in the worst housing slump since the Depression.
7. "I think you'll see (oil prices at) $150 a barrel by the end of the year" -- T. Boone Pickens, June 20, 2008
Oil was then around $135 a barrel. By late December it was below $40.
8. "I expect there will be some failures. I don't anticipate any serious problems of that sort among the large internationally active banks that make up a very substantial part of our banking system." -- Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, Feb. 28, 2008
In September, Washington Mutual became the largest financial institution in U.S. history to fail. Citigroup (NYSE:C - News) needed an even bigger rescue in November.
9. "In today's regulatory environment, it's virtually impossible to violate rules." -- Bernard Madoff, money manager, Oct. 20, 2007
About a year later, Madoff -- who once headed the Nasdaq Stock Market -- told investigators he had cost his investors $50 billion in an alleged Ponzi scheme.
10. "There's growing evidence that parts of the debt markets…are coming back to life." —Peter Coy and Mara Der Hovanesian, BusinessWeek, Oct. 1, 2007.
Here is some predictions made by Prophets and Apostles in these latter days.
"Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order. So many of our people are living on the very edge of their incomes. In fact, some are living on borrowings.
We have witnessed in recent weeks wide and fearsome swings in the markets of the world. The economy is a fragile thing. A stumble in the economy in Jakarta or Moscow can immediately affect the entire world. It can eventually reach down to each of us as individuals. There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed." Gordon B. Hinckley
“If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet” President Heber J. Grant (Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham , 111).
"Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the [lender]. Release thyself from bondage." The LORD D&C 19:35
"Ours is such a wasteful generation. The disposal of garbage has become one of the great problems of our time. Part of that comes of wasteful extravagance. Our pioneer forebears lived by the motto: "Fix it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without." President Heber J. Grant (University of Utah Institute of Religion Fireside, May 21, 1989.)
"Now, let's not be foolish and suppose that because the sun is shining today there won't be clouds tomorrow. The Lord has told us by revelation some of the things that are ahead of us, and we are living in the day when the fulfillment of those prophecies is at hand. We are startled, and yet there is nothing happening today that the prophets didn't foresee. God help us to keep our own houses in order and to keep our eyes fixed upon those who preside in this church and to follow their direction, and we won't be led astray.
Stay out of debt...Not only should we teach men to get out of debt but we should teach them likewise to stay out of debt." (Harold B. Lee, The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 315.)
Question: Who would you have been better off listening to? The financial experts, or the spiritual experts?