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Dow Repeats Great Depression Pattern? Maybe?

I was reading this CNBC article featuring this quote:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is repeating a pattern that appeared just before markets fell during the Great Depression, Daryl Guppy, CEO at Guppytraders.com, told CNBC Monday.

“Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it…there was a head and shoulders pattern that developed before the Depression in 1929, then with the recovery in 1930 we had another head and shoulders pattern that preceded a fall in the market, and in the current Dow situation we see an exact repeat of that environment,” Guppy said.

I guess, maybe, this is wisdom, if a loosely quantifiable technical pattern can define a market “environment.” To call it “an exact repeat,” we would need to see the evidence. Let’s take a look. Note that the CNBC article did not include any charts.

Click on the charts to enlarge…

Dow Jones Industrial Average 1929-1931

Dow Jones Industrial Average 2008-2010

Okay, sure, we have a head and shoulders pattern in both charts. Honestly, I see numerous H&S patterns in both charts. But to call this “an exact repeat” is quite a stretch. That doesn’t mean we won’t see a brutal market swoon, a la 1930, over the next several months. There are certainly similarities, but there are also clear differences.

The take-away from this is to be careful when dealing in absolutes (an exact repeat?) and technical chart patterns. Unless the patterns are quantified, there simply are no legitimate absolutes.

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Kneale Before iBankCoin

In case you missed Dennis Kneale’s tirade against iBC, here is the link: Dennis Kneale vs. iBankCoin.

Kneale, at the opening of his piece says, “I tried to reach out to the bitterest realm on Earth last night, the blogosphere, and all I got was a new load of vitriol and grief.”

The reason that Mr. Kneale is getting eviscerated in the blogosphere is because he refuses to respond to thoughtful inquiry, put forth by the bloggers. Instead, Mr. Kneale would rather focus on blogger anonymity, or on a few comments that were left, such as “Dennis Kneale fondles cats.”

Kneale’s disgust with the blogosphere is ridiculously misplaced. His disgust should be with CNBC, his producers, or with himself. It is easy to highlight ridiculous comments, not written by the bloggers themselves, rather than respond to facts and data, put forth by the bloggers. As I’ve written before, Kneale’s approach should not really be a surprise, as CNBC is not about reality, but celebrity.

Case in point: While Karl Denninger can be annoyingly smug, he has responded to Mr. Kneale with facts and data. For this thoughtful response by Denninger, Kneale grants him about one minute of air-time, and immediately throws him a red herring, in the form of a question about blogger anonymity. As Denninger finally was getting to the meat of the issue, his time was cut short by a breaking news story.

Rather than offering Mr. Denninger another opportunity on the following night, Kneale uses his two minutes to highlight some of the comments left about him on our own iBankCoin. Obviously, should Dennis really have wanted to address the data put forth by Denninger, he would have invited him back on the show.

CNBC and Kneale have attempted to play a similar game with Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge. Kneale has an open invitation to debate on the Zero Hedge blog, as well as time for an extended phone call. I am doubtful that Zero Hedge has heard any response from Kneale’s producers.

What is Kneale’s Purpose in Taking on the Financial Blogsphere?

This is all a game. Anyone who thinks Kneale truly wants a well-reasoned, insightful conversation about anything is the true idiot. Kneale’s purpose is to create drama. That is all. He is no better than a reality-show host, except his network refuses to present the reality.

Marion Maneker sums it up best:

“It turns out Kneale is haughty but wrong. The constant carping, acting out, and cartoonish behavior has been anything but bad for CNBC’s brand. In fact, it is part of a conscious strategy to take what was once a staid place where the markets themselves starred and turn it into a free-for-all with heroes and villains and a running back story sort of like professional wrestling.”

As iBankCoin received no bump in traffic from Kneale’s mention, it appears that CNBC’s strategy is working. The bloggers are the villains, out to manipulate markets, attacking the host with ad hominems, all the while hiding behind their anonymity. Kneale stirs up his viewers; the bloggers get punished in an asymmetrical debate forum that benefits no one except for Kneale, and the bloggers receive very little in the way of increased exposure.

You’re A Fad, Kneale, But We Can Work With That

The sad thing about this entire situation is that CNBC viewers may have money at risk in the markets. When one watches a home improvement show, he does not typically stand to lose thousands of dollars by taking some poor advice. Yet CNBC consistently offers awful advice, manipulates the markets by promoting rumors, watches while their viewers have lost millions, if not billions of dollars, and still does not realize that this is not a game.

I have my suspicions about Kneale, though. He may have, at his core, a moral compass.

A say this because of his recent piece about how he grew up, in Florida. I got the sense that he remembers well his humble beginnings, and part of me thinks that there may still be a part of Kneale that is disgusted by what he has become, which is a showman, a huckster. Real journalists would not set foot in the doors of CNBC. Dennis, how does it feel to sell out and become CNBC’s clown, complete with a big red nose and goofy shoes?

While Kneale is a fad, I have no problem with that except that he continually avoids very important issues, issues that may eventually cost viewers large sums of money, all the while cheerleading the market. Fads typically do not result in the destruction of capital.

Despite Kneale’s on-air persona, I wonder, is there not a small part of Kneale that would like to compete again for the Pulitzer?

Dennis, you know the blogs out there (with anonymous bloggers) that are getting much more attention for their in-depth coverage than you are getting from being a CNBC clown. I can only imagine you are a tad envious, considering your background in investigative journalism. I urge you to bring real journalism back to the main stream media.

Heroes and villains belong in cartoons, not in the financial media.

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