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5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Oct. 21

Stocks in this article: CROXRIMMWMTCSGMCRJOEAAPLGOOG

4. Cliggott's Last Call

Don't worry about getting the hook Doug Cliggott. It's not you. It's them.

Alright, it's you too. But at least you're not alone.

Cliggott is out as U.S. equity strategist for Credit Suisse Group AG (CS), according to a Bloomberg report last Saturday. Cliggott is apparently still working for the Zurich-based bank, yet will no longer publicly make the firm's S&P 500 forecasts after his calls proved to be the least accurate of any prognosticator on the Street.

In January 2010, Cliggott called for the S&P 500 to be unchanged for the year. Unfortunately (for him), the index added 13% to finish at 1,258. His year-end estimate in September 2010 was 1,075, making him the Street's biggest loser in a Bloomberg survey. Cliggott's final call for the bank came on Aug. 22 of this year, when he reduced his year-end S&P estimate to 1,100 from 1,275, only to see the index rally more than 7% to its current level back above 1,200.

Oh man. Talk about a cold streak. This guy should forget Wall Street and take his skills to Vegas to work as a cooler.

Regardless of Cliggot's terrible timing, all that bearishness leads one to wonder why Credit Suisse would hire such a nabob of negativism in the first place. Were they not aware that the role of strategist is generally reserved for market cheerleaders? What in the name of Abby Joseph Cohen were they thinking bringing on such a downbeat dude?

That said, even the most bullish strategists are not immune to getting the boot in today's tense Wall Street environment. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's (BAC) chief U.S. equity strategist, David Bianco, was squeezed out of a job last month only three days after hiking his12-month S&P forecast to a heady 1,450. So maybe it's just safest to stick with the pack.

Ironically, if Cliggott wanted to make a prescient bearish call, then he should have taken aim at his employer, not the S&P.

Since Cliggott joined Credit Suisse in October 2009, the bank's stock has lost more than 50% of its market value. The S&P, on the other hand, is up over 10% since his arrival.

At the time of his hiring, Cliggott said he was "especially pleased to be joining Credit Suisse at a time when the Bank has so much momentum."

Well, he was right about that much at least.

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