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Bear Necessities

Misery loves company. So, if you're contemplating hibernation and looking for company, check out these sites.

More than an effective advertisement for David W. Tice's Prudent Bear family of mutual funds, is one of the most extensive sources of bearish market commentary. A good place to start is a 24-slide presentation making a case that we're in a secular bear market. And there are plenty more like that in the library section. The site features links to some of the best contrarian stories in the financial press, as well as thoughtful and surprisingly lengthy (some pieces are 7,000 words long) bylined commentary from the Prudent Bear team. After reading a few of these essays, bearish readers not moved to hibernation may want to check out the relatively active chat room.

Contrary Investor claims to be published by a group of experienced money managers. It may very well be, but perhaps in the spirit of sheer contrariness, the analysts don't seem to identify themselves. Much of the commentary is available by subscription only, but there are a number of interesting freebies, most notably a list of stocks the anonymous contrariness held in 2001 and a monthly essay called the Monthly Market Observation. A click on the library tab will take you to an online catalog of great bearish authors from past and present.

The Daily Reckoning

This free daily newsletter from Paris-based analyst Bill Bonner casts a skeptical eye on the American economy, featuring commentary from such star contrariness as Kurt Richebächer and Marc Faber. Bonner & Co. have a quirky sense of humor that may appeal or appall, depending on your politics. For instance, here's Bonner's take on the recovery: “A new boom? Maybe. But it could only happen by piling on yet more debt… and taking stocks to even more dangerous levels. Like a Pakistani ferry… crowded with sweaty passengers and leaking like the State Department. it may make it out of the harbor… but you don't want to be aboard.”

Comstock Partners Inc.

Contrarian market advice is offered here several times a week by Marty Weiner and Charlie Minter, managers of the Comstock Funds, which are owned by the Gabelli Funds group. The no-nonsense commentary tends to be short and to the point, dispatching the duo's macro-views in a long paragraph or two. Unlike many bearish commentators who ramble on about Elliott Waves and monetary musings, Weiner and Minter seem to stick to fairly basic articles of skepticism, such as the fact that the S&P's earnings multiples are still much higher than the historic average.

F—--ed Company


If we were to bury a time capsule about the “New Economy”, the F—-ed Company home page would be among the artifacts. Started two years ago as an irreverent dot com “death pool,” the site has evolved into a lampoon of teetering business in general. Take the “Happy Fun Slander” message board, for example. One entry provides a clue to the impending doom of one “can't miss” company: “Our comptroller has smelled like booze for two weeks now and doesn't open his office door for anyone. His assistant is brown-bagging it and has been spending her days on” So whether it's in the spirit of schadenfreude or a desire to confirm your worst expectations, it's a great site for bears.

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