It’s Not a Cheerleading Book
Most people want a highly plausible cheerleading book that says everything is okay, or it will be soon, even if we hit some rough patches along the way. They want good news, but they also want the good news to be plausible, meaning that it has to be based on some kind of seemingly rigorous analysis. The analysis itself can be terrible, but as long as it seems rigorous (i.e., complicated), and it supports the idea that things will get better soon, that’s what they want to hear.
Ideally, this good-news analysis should also square with conventional wisdom, for example, the idea of Market Cycles. But the analysis can’t be too optimistic, or it will sound like fantasy. It has to be very cognizant of current problems while being fundamentally optimistic that the economy, stocks, and real estate will all inevitably go back up.
Alan Greenspan was a master at this. He was the perfect cheerleader because he was optimistic, but always sounded well reasoned and quite plausible. Greenspan never talked too much about any fundamental economic problems, except with very long-term issues, such as the long-term cost of Social Security and Medicare. However, he always brought up some negative issues that made his overall optimism seem well considered. Even when his views didn’t square with reality, people still loved to hear them.
As an aside, it is quite interesting that since retiring, Greenspan has become much more outspoken about the deep problems in the economy, ...