MoneyWeek issue 376 cover

Contrarian or kamikaze?

21 March 2008 / Issue 376

How to play it safe amid the market chaos... PLUS:

• One stock set to profit from oil – even if prices fall

• Just how safe are Britain’s banks?

• The Wall Street crusader who fell from grace


Contrarian or kamikaze?

This has been one of the most volatile weeks yet for markets, and there’s no sign of the upheaval stopping.

Just how fragile confidence is at the moment was brought home to me sharply when we had our regular Roundtable meeting this week. You can read the whole thing in the magazine next week, but it’s safe to say that everyone there was unapologetically gloomy. In the wake of the Bear Stearns bail-out, it may not be so surprising that investment experts feel downbeat. But the extent of the pessimism impressed even me.

For one thing, everyone around the table agreed on one point. By the time the credit crisis has finally worked its way through the system, current shareholders in most UK banks will be lucky to be left with anything of value. Buying banking stocks just now is not being contrarian. It’s a simple refusal to accept the bull market is over.

Read the full editor’s letter here: Contrarian or kamikaze?