Market research

United Airlines was nearly wiped out today because — somehow — an old story about its 2002 bankruptcy filing ended up on a Florida newspaper’s site. Editor and Publisher Magazine reports. (Update: Florida paper says ‘it wasn’t us.’ But quotes some newspaper officials earlier as having ‘pulled’ the story. Which is it?)


Then, according to Bloomberg, the story got posted on Bloomberg’s newswire (an operation that’s supposed to provide dependable information for investors) by Income Securities Investor, an outfit that describes itself as an independent research firm.

The situation shows that airline analysts don’t believe their own analysis, Marketwatch proclaimed.

Oh, it revealed much, much more.

For this to happen, several realities have to exist:

1) “Research firms” have to get their information off newspaper sites or via Google.

2) Newspaper and Web site editors have to be that incompetent to post six-year-year old stories on their Web sites.

3) Actual investors have to be that lazy about researching how they’ll invest their money to depend on either #1 or #2.

  • My accounting Professor loved to repeat:

    1) Management is scum.

    2) Financial Analysts are lazy.

    3) Investors are greedy and stupid.

    Number two certainly got confirmation today.

  • Bonnie

    That’s why they get the big bucks!

    Bruce hit it on the head.

    I feel so much better about my nest egg right now, thanks ever so much.

    Glad I haven’t shelled out any money for those miracle stock winner newsletters, I’ll keep throwing darts when I’m feeling extra stupid and greedy.

  • JohnnyZoom

    Call me cynical, but can you say “market manipulation”?

    Somebody could have made big $$$ late morning.