Thursday, November 5, 2009

Brown Brothers Harriman: Too Soon to Call the End of Rally

I have a soft spot in my heart [head? -ed] for Brown Brothers Harriman. Not only is the Brown Brothers side of the business one of the oldest members of the exchange (founded 1818) but the Harriman side of the biz was founded by the sons of one of my childhood heroes, E.H. Harriman.

We first mentioned E.H. in an April 2007 post "Global Warming and Venture Capital":
We're coming up on the 100th anniversary of the Panic of 1907 (Join our cult, get the calendar free!). The Boston Fed. did a great paper on the panic that should have gotten a wider audience.

It's not that often you see a sub-head like "In Which the Downfall of a Prominent Speculator Rocks the Financial System, and a Prominent Millionaire Saves the Day" in a Fed. Bank Publication.

Rereading this got me thinking about the differance between J.P. Morgan (Our Hero), and the current crop of VC's flogging their new-found green credentials. Where were they six years ago? Oh, that's right: Webvan and and and Even Queer Company blew through $5 mil.

Compare that to Morgan six years prior to the Panic, during the Northern Pacific squeeze of ought-one. J.J. Hill flying across the country in a commandeered train, counting on one of the few guys on the planet who knew as much about railroads and financial markets as Hill himself (or for that matter as much as Hill's nemesis Ed Harriman- E.H., famous for saying:

"I can distribute more stock on upticks than I can on down"
-E.H. Harriman, railroad man and Wall Street pro.
That's a longer than intended intro, here's the story from MarketBeat:
Despite the recent softness in the markets — the S&P is off 4.7% from its recent closing high of 1097.91 on Oct. 19 — it’s still too soon to say that the great rally off the March lows is over, say technical strategists from Brown Brothers Harriman. “Despite the fact that the market’s trend has come under pressure and momentum is showing signs of rolling lower, we believe it is too soon to anticipate the end of the advance,” they write....MORE
Here are some other CI posts that mention that Harriman quote:
Oct. '08
So how many hedgies did Porsche really kill?

Jan. '09
The Grassy Knoll Theory of Investing

May '09
Is it Just Me or Does the Market Feel Manipulated?