Saturday, February 28, 2009

About Dick Bove

Dick Bove is a securities analyst whose focus is on banks. As a result of Spitzer's ego led attack on the research community, only analysts at small firms dare talk to the media. Dick Bove has become, more or less, the media's default guy to go to.

Dick's analysis begins and ends with his opinion. There is little discovery through analysis of the numbers, although he of course looks at them. He does actually intuitively know the financial services industry based on his many years of experience. His background is not fully available, but the first I knew of him was from C.J. Lawrence, an old time rough brokerage that would make SAC look timid. He then moved through a series of just below major brokerage firms and finally ginned up to this game of moving from one tiny firm to another, firms eager to take a marketing advantage of Dick's appearances on CNBC or Bloomberg.

My first contact with Dick was through rumors that he would start about a troubled Manufacturers Hanover. Out of nowhere he would create "market rumors suggest" comments that ManHan would be acquired over the weekend by a German bank, etc. He just wanted attention, which often seems to be the m.o. for Dick. Over the years, I worked with him and to some extent admired his ability to butter up the most needy members of management and take advantage of them, and inevitably me. That doesn't mean that I didn't cringe every time he called with his leading and rhetorical questions, called and seemed to want to make me stay on the phone for as long as possible just to be annoying. Dick the joker. Dick made a market call in May 2008 that stated flatly that the crisis was over and it was the time to buy banks. Dick the joker.

The fact that Dick survives as a primary source for CNBC and Bloomberg is amazing. Despite the fact that he is often wrong, Dick looks and speaks like an elder statesman. They treat him with kid gloves. It's the Spitzer legacy. Few institutional investors pay any attention to Dick Bove. But, kudos to Dick, he has his seven or eight kids down there in Florida, maybe still has a Harley, and puts his mug out there with authoritative comments. At this point, his opinions are, bizarrely, better than most.


Blogger emily said...

I can't believe my eyes...You are still as prolific as ever. elgilman

3:50 PM  
Blogger John Borden said...

Emily, hello friend. How are you. And just curious, how did you find ENS. John

5:16 PM  
Blogger emily said...

I stalked you! A while back I saw your name on a book review. Recently, I was using Amazon and saw your name again. I then did what every self-respecting American does and I googled you!How are you?

9:50 PM  

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