Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bard Analysis

An interesting research technique based on Much Ado About Nothing:

Next time you read a newspaper, I want you to try the Much Ado about Nothing Analytical Tool. In the left column you put sentences with stats based on an actual count of something real - jobs, dollars, interest rates, prices. Quotes, if they are substantial, go in the left column too. Actual events like hurricanes, elections, wars and terrorist attacks are definitely left column material.

Your right column is for sentences with words like 'worries', 'concerns', 'expectations' or 'believes'. Unattributed quotes go on the right, as do short quotes. Opinion polls go on the right. This includes opinion polls masquerading as economic stats like consumer confidence, or business confidence. Elections and futures markets, however, go on the left. 'Sub-prime jitters' is a left column thing.

I think everyone does this to some degree when evaluating the condition of the market. I know I do, but I've never formalized it by actually writing lists. Look for a new feature at the website; I'll try to get something like this up this week.

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