Bill Fleckenstein

Contrarian Chronicles

A guide to Fleckisms

The Contrarian Chronicles have a language all their own. Here's your guide.

By Bill Fleckenstein

Arm waving: When people take fluffy, subjective information and treat it as fact, to justfy a viewpoint . . . that they want to justify.

Beat the number: The curious (and often suspicious) habit of companies to routinely beat analysts' earnings estimates by a single penny.

Bubbleonians: Individuals who believe we are in a perpetual bull market. Alternatively called "U4ians."

Bubblevision: CNBC, Mecca for bubbleonians near and far.

Casino: Another name for the stock market, at least while the dipsters and bubbleonians are still in force.

Colin and Joanie: Colin Negrych and Joanie McCullogh, very knowledgeable friends who watch the markets closely.

Dead fish: Also known as cheerleaders. Sell-side analysts whose idea of research is to talk to company management before issuing a "buy" rating (or to downgrade a stock to "accumulate" after it implodes).

Dipsters: Individuals who mindlessly buy on dips. See also "Bubbleonians."

Easy Al: Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan. Also known as ""

Flopping and chopping: Up-and-down motion that essentially goes nowhere.

Goldilocksters: The people who take up the cause of a "not-too-strong, not-too-weak" economy, ignoring evidence to the contrary.

Greenspan put: The belief by market participants that in times of stock market distress, Fed chief Alan Greenspan was willing to increase liquidity by whatever level necessary to keep the stock market from declining in any meaningful way.

Housing ATM: When homeowners take loans against the inflated values of their houses and artificially pump up the economy with profligate spending.

Jam job: When the powers that be force prices absurdly higher in a short space of time.

Kinky stocks: Highflying tech companies with stratospheric valuations.

Live fish: Uncorrupted analysts who do their homework. The species is rare, borders on extinction and is exemplified by Fred Hickey, the king salmon.

OPM: Other People's Money.

People's Momentum Daily: Investor's Business Daily.

Pinball Alley: See "Casino."

Ramp job: See "Jam job."

Shrimp fest: A gathering of government leaders, i.e., IMF meetings, G8 meetings, etc.

Sox: The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, a weighted index of 16 U.S. companies involved in the semiconductor industry. A favorite of the dipsters and bubbleonians.

Tape painting: See "Jam job."

U4ians: See "Bubbleonians."

Xera: The dollar is in need of a name change. Xera is a combination of: (a) Xerox -- for the piece of Xerox paper that it is, (b) lira, which in the past was one of the world's chronically weak currencies, and (c) most importantly, the fact that it sounds like zero. Which is ultimately where the Xera is headed.

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