Quit Playing the Loser's Game in 'Silly Season'

Today we once again begin the quarterly silliness known as "earnings season." Traders will breathlessly huddle around the Bloomberg terminal and television as they await the next number to be released. Bets will be placed on the likelihood of a company hitting or missing the highly accurate Wall Street analyst estimates for the last three months. Meanwhile, investors and so-called strategists will be reviewing the data each day in order to try and come up with some sense of how corporate America is doing in the aggregate, and to forecast how the broader market will fare. Both of these last two endeavors strike me as being just an enormous waste of time.

My first thought about earnings season is that this is no way to run an economy. Publicly traded companies and their executives have developed an unhealthy devotion to quarterly numbers. An enormous amount of time and money is spent developing quarterly guidance to appease the casinos of lower Manhattan, when this could be devoted to activities actually involving running a business. A quarter is a blip in the lifespan of a corporation, and it's an absurd suggestion that a single three-month period should add or subtract tens of billions of overall market capitalization....668 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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