Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Richard Lees of Richard Lees Capital Management insults market commentators and professional investors, calling them "gridiots," "so-called pro's," and the "wRONg Insana crowd" for disagreeing with him on monetary policy or the market.

Meanwhile, he creates a shockingly incorrect graph by entering the exchange rates upside down:

As the US dollar has fallen since mid-2002, foreign investors in US-dollar-based assets have lost money. So even though the S&P 500 has rebounded 40-50% in dollar terms, Europeans have lost much of those gains as the dollar has lost 30-40% against the Euro. Richard, however, appears to have entered the numbers wrong in his charting software, with the result that Euro-based investors look like they gained, rather than lost, from this currency movement.

This erroneous graph then becomes the basis for a long diatribe. In between boasts of his past brilliant market calls, he raves:

"No one has fared better in the rise of the S&P since the lows of 2002 than those whose stake has been funded in Euro’s [sic].... In fact, in Euro terms -- and only in Euro terms -- the US stock market has now gone to an all time high even higher than the Y2K high!"

As the great John McLaughlin would say, "WRONG!!!"

It takes some kind of investment pro to believe that European investors who buy US dollar-based assets profit as the dollar falls. It's bad enough that he doesn't know how to use his charting software. But anyone with the most basic understanding of finance should realize how wrong this chart is before publishing a smug 1200-word essay that relies on it. This guy is actually in the investment business with other people's money?!?

I'm not going to put a lot of weight on this guy's endorsement of Greenspan.

UPDATE (12/15): The column has been heavily edited, without comment. Gone are the graph, much of the text, and most of the braggadocio and name-calling.

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