Wall Street Strategies
Hello! Sign in or Register

Morning Commentary

The Lie With Something Extra

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
1/17/2013 6:14 AM
Take a Free Trial
Try Charles' premium stock selection services free for 14 days. Check it out in real time! You will get actionable advice, trading ideas and email alerts.

Question of the Week

So many hoaxes throughout the years which one was the worst? Share your favorite known hoax or hoax yet to be uncovered.

Post your answer below.
The word hoax first came into popular use sometime in the middle to late eighteenth century. It is thought to have been a contraction of the word hocus from the conjuror's term hocus pocus. The term hocus pocus itself first appeared in the early seventeenth century. It might have derived from the assumed name of a conjuror in the time of King James who called himself 'The Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus' because with the performance of every trick he used to call out the nonsense phrase, "Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, vade celeriter jubeo" (later magicians were known to use the phrase "Hax pax max deus adimax"). This phrase was itself probably an imitation (or mockery) of the phrase used by priests of the Church of Rome when they performed the act of transubstantiation, "hoc est corpus."

What in the world is going on with this world? Despite the guarantee of Andy Warhol's prediction about fame and fifteen minutes it's just isn't enough these days. It's not enough to be world-class and to have a compelling story that could motivate others.

It's not enough to have accolades, money and a great future. We began the week with a fallen hero admitting to years of deceit and we are finishing the week with a budding superstar leaving us scratching our heads wondering why.

Manti T'eo was the biggest story in college football last year. He was bigger than Johnny "Football" Manziel whom bested the Norte Dame linebacker for the Heisman trophy and the Alabama Crimson Tide who beat T'eo and his teammates for the national championship. Manti was a Mormon who decided to play for a Catholic school.

He brought energy, grit and excitement along with glory that had long been lost. Plus he was the sweetest kid in the world.

People loved him, due in part to the fact he played on after the death of his Grandmother and girlfriend within hours of each other. He told the world he met his girlfriend Lennay Marie Kekua after a November 2008 game at her college Stanford (Stanford won 45-38). She often went to Hawaii to visit Manti and his family. But last year she survived a horrific car accident only to be told she had leukemia. As fate would have it the two loves of Manti T'eo's life die within hours of each other.

Lennay's last wish was he play on and he did. The next game against Michigan State saw fans of both team cheer him on and he thanked them for the support. My jaw dropped initially upon reading the story that Lennay never existed and dropped even more as some writers are wondering if Manti himself was duped by a friend back in Hawaii. This is the beauty of a hero-worshiping society where it's not good enough to forgive them but to never see stains on their halos.

Living a Lie or a Hoax; What's Difference?

What I didn't get from headlines was the difference between a lie and a hoax. I figured it was just about cash; Lance Armstrong made millions under false pretense while college athletes are only awarded in adulation and praise. But this was cleared up by website museumofhoaxes.com:

One common thread that runs through all this activities is that they are all deceptive acts, or lies. But not just any deceptive act qualifies as a hoax. A small white lie, such as when an employee falsely calls in sick to take a day off work, doesn't qualify as a hoax. Nor do most forms of criminal deception, such as identity theft, counterfeiting, perjury, or plagiarism. To become a hoax a lie must have something extra. It must be somehow outrageous, ingenious, dramatic, or sensational. Most of all, it must command the attention of the public. A hoax, then, is a deliberately deceptive act that has succeeded in capturing the attention (and, ideally, the imagination) of the public.

So it's all about commanding the attention of the public. Maybe this explains the silliness in Washington DC where every day is outrageous, ingenious, dramatic and sensational. Plagiarists can still make it to the White House and perjury is protected by congressional immunity. Superstars and heroes and lawmakers each day breach our trust and bust our bubbles all because we chose to believe.

On the other hand there's the stock market and lack of excitement over the amazing rally it's put in over the past five years. There's been no fanfare. On the contrary, most people are waiting for a curtain to rise and the greatest stealth rally in history to be proven a sham.

Ironically, while America fawned over Lance Armstrong with suspended disbelieve most felt the upside move in the stock market was a hoax.

The Market

Stocks are grappling for direction, although they are not under a cloud of fear, they are just kind of waiting for a signal and leadership. News out of The Boeing Company (BA) create a drag on the broad market, but nobody thinks the Dream-liner issue is long term, even if it was three years late. Meantime solid earnings from CBS Corporation (CBS), eBay Inc. (EBAY), and BlackRock, Inc. (BLK) underscore the fact large companies get large from skill and can stay that way by paying attention (or losing their way then getting back on the stick). Citigroup, Inc. (C) missed, but that's company-specific. Outside of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) I worry still about the big names and their opaque walls.

Ironically, the fact that I'm not worried about the broad market has me a little worried.

But this morning housing starts came in significantly better than expected, +12.1% to an annualized rate of 954,000, and initial jobless claims plunged to 335,000. This news gave the market a bump and could provide some momentum although a sense of caution permeates the air.

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW...also know as "Al Gore Warming"). The biggest hoax in modern history, designed to enrich pseudo-scientists and politicians at the expense of the low-information public.

Suzan on 1/17/2013 10:13:32 AM
"Separation of Church and State" as a founding principal of the USA that silences the beliefs and actions of Christians in this country.

My answer comes from a decidedly modern America perspective. Of course, it may not play well when considered against 6000 years of world history, but for this day and age, the USA is certainly a big impact in the world, and if a hoax does not impact the fate of a powerful nation like the USA, it really is not that big.

This fallacy that is now mistaught in so many schools has changed the attitude of our society so that a once industrious, hard working people are now dominated by a greedy, self-serving pack of fools that has twice elected an incompetent socialist fool to a position where he may put the final nails in our national coffin.

It is the root to a series of farces that have come together to allow the malevolent to combine with the ignorant to do great damage. It is a hoax in that the words came from a letter by Thomas Jefferson where he expounds how the USA is founded as a Christian nation and must stay so in order to survive. It was amplified by the Scopes evolution hoax that used a pig's tooth in the hands of a lying, charismatic attorney to place evolution into the schools based on the false existence of Arkansas man and his family.

It created real damage when the Supreme Court reversed more than 150 previous US Supreme Court rulings to outlaw God in public schools, based on no precedents in US or common law and in defiance of the 2nd amendment.

The removal of God from the public schools left a void in the training of our youth, where today they lack any moral code other than self-gratification at any cost to themselves, their families, and society. We have destroyed the strength of the family in much of the society, and with it is the destruction of the youth and the future of the society.

Bob G on 1/17/2013 10:30:18 AM
The UN by a mile.

Z on 1/17/2013 10:32:03 AM
That quasi-govt agencies are not govt agencies in the worst meaning of that definition.

John Hubbard on 1/17/2013 10:56:11 AM
Exposing the phony science behind the warming of planet earth

Jason on 1/17/2013 11:21:22 AM
The hoax that the US moon landing was faked. It was even taught in European schools. I know - I lived there for 10 years.

Kathy Hauser on 1/17/2013 3:12:20 PM
The hypocrisy of our government entity, for whom is + $16,000,000,000,000 and growing +$3 billion in interest alone DAILY - is the 'go-to' in tackling/ resolving our nation's obesity, entitlement mentality, woeful public education, improve/ increase and encourage private sector ownership/ employment, brings about peace, resolve and 'unity' amongst it's citizenry, works for the very people who've put them in office etc.,

I find our government and the very people who hold them in high regard (for whom believe the Durbin's, Kerry's and Barack Kardashian's types will 'save us from ourselves') to be the most inept, ideologically backward and yes - dangerously stupid people inflicting our nation this day and age.

Feel-good nonsense, sound bites have long taken precedence over lucid, critical thinking and rational thought. Just my opinion..

markit8dude on 1/17/2013 8:48:44 PM

Add Your Comment

Submitted comments are subject to moderation before posting.

Home | Products & Services | Education | In The Media | Help | About Us |
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use |
All Rights Reserved.