Picking on analysts has long been one of my favorite pastimes. I honestly don’t know how these so-called “experts” who take apart a company’s financial and operation processes and both predict how their stock will do and presume to tell their C-level teams how to run the businesses.
The latest example is Google. In this New York Times piece, “analysts” are quoted as, at one and the same time:
- worrying about what Google is going to do next to counter Apple’s new payment technology, improve YouTube’s competitive stance, and cash in on mobile advertising; and…
- complaining that R&D costs are on the verge of getting out of control as core businesses begin to shrink (which they haven’t yet).
So let me get this straight. Google needs to spend more on R&D to stay ahead of the competition but they shouldn’t spend more on R&D because, you know, analysis.
These folks have clout in the marketplace completely out of proportion to their repeatedly demonstrated ignorance and conflicting advice. Over one period of four years when I watched Apple analysts closely, these so-called experts offered completely contradictory advice on no fewer than 11 occasions.
If you ask me (and, nope, nobody has…yet), these people are more interested in covering their own asses than they are in making useful comments and predictions about business performance.
They are, in short, narcissistic parasites on the economy. We’d all be better off if they went away and became, oh, I don’t know, hedge fund managers?