I Never Liked Dick Bove

I usually try to be a little obscure in the daily blog titles.

The problem with getting older is that the long term memory really does stay intact and the ability to forgive and forget becomes diminished.

Now, I don’t really have anything against Dick Bove, per se, but in the past he has been as ever-present a talking head as you could ever imagine.

Shit for BrainsNow, I don’t want to you to get the wrong idea. Just because there is an image entitled “Shit for Brains”, this is in no way a representation of what I believe is present in Dick Bove’s head. After all, that wouldn’t be fair to the long and storied history of excrement.

For me, I first took notice of Dick Bove when his bald pate and perfectly trimmed beard seemed to be on CNBC every morning and afternoon giving his take on the financial institutions that he followed.

Afterall, he was a financials analyst and we were on the precipice of what would turn out to be the market cataclysm of a lifetime.

And he was the best, right?

I mean, why else would he be featured so regularly amd prominently? And you certainly would want the best to either re-assure the investment community or warn them, as appropriate.

Before I go forward, lest you think that all I plan to do is blast Bove, I would like to give him some credit for his forecasting ability. Although it was a rocky road, taking more than 2 years for the markets to recover most of the ground it lost following the 2007 meltdown, Citigroup is nearly at Bove’s price target of $45.

Granted, it’s price was significantly helped by last week’s 1:10 split, but that would be like splitting hairs.

So while Bove was continually telling the investing world that Citigroup was a solid company and that its dividend was in no jeopardy, Wall Street just burned as his talking head kept talking, oblivious to the air being sucked out of the markets.

Of course, Bove has had his credibility questioned before, in the most important of ways; the losing side of a lawsuit that was based on the accuracy of one of his calls. No reason to dredge the details of that up.

The New York Times last year characterized him as having bounced from firm to firm.

So this is the best they can come up with to assess the financial sector?

Yet for some unknown reason….

Wait, I know the reason. No one on Wall Street has anything resembling a memory.

So, they still listen to this guy. They  still invite him back.

Yesterday he did his damage again.

He used a classic terrorist strategy, perhaps pulled from Bin Laden’s recently discovered diary.

And I’m not talking about the entry when Bin Laden wrote “Fatima’s so pretty, but she doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I just want 2B friends”.

No, he focused on the strategy to go after soft targets.

And what more soft of a target is there these days than Goldman Sachs?

They can’t catch a break on anything. Imagine, they actually offered Hugh Grant the Charlie Sheen role in Two and a Half Men over Lloyd Blankfein.

As if that wouldn’t have been bad enough, Ashton Kutcher? Really?

That’s really kicking a guy when he’s down.

Bove spent the day spreading fear about Goldman and the Department of Justice.

Isn’t that the modus operandi of terorists? Fear? Soft targets?

And Charlie Gasparino was bold enough to predict that Blankfein wouldn’t last another 2 years.

Exactly how many eternities is 2 years in Wall Street years?

Anyway, you know what happened.

Goldman took another beating and you guessed it. I own Goldman shares.

What used to be about 10% of my portfolio is now about 8% and not because I sold shares.

In the aftermath of the Rajaratnam guilty verdict, Bove believes that the Department of Justice has some blood lust. He has a populist image of people wildly celebrating in front of the White House at the mere thought of Goldman convictions.

Personally, I don’t think DOJ will be going after Goldman with quite the zeal that Bove believes. The economic consequences of crippling Goldman, even in the short term has tremendous trickle down. Not good when the boss is in re-election mode.

Although the people at Goldman are deservedly called the smartest in the room, they still may need some help on this one. It isn’t easy getting out from under the grip of a terrorist

My advice? SEALS. Navy Seals.