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The Cutting Room: He's Always Wanted to Be a Star

But Gary finds that Joe Bousquin and Dagen McDowell and, well, everybody else, is standing in his way ...

Confession time: Whenever it's been my turn in the rotation to put together The Cutting Room, it always seems to be after a show where I'm in the second segment. And since I can't see the rest of the show when I'm done (well, I could, I just choose to leave early and rejoin the family), in these columns I've focused just on my small corner of the world.

Well, no longer! Because now that I've wormed my way into "Prediction Alley," I'm part of the entire show. Even better, I sometimes listen to stuff going on

outside my own segment!


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And, I'll tell you, if our producer

Gary Schreier

had any kind of brain, he'd have me on everyone else's segment, too. Why? Because I have stuff to say, darn it! Important stuff. Relevant stuff. You know, the kind of stuff that changes people's lives, enriches them and helps make them better individuals. The kind of stuff you might hear around a college fraternity room where no holds are barred and everyone's opinion is of one variety: LOUD!

The "A" Block: Word on the Street

Boy, I really wish I was there for that one, as they spent a few minutes talking about both the


being down more than 10% for the year and the latest hacker strikes. Boy, some of those lines really


required thoughtful rebuttal. Or, short of that, my wise-ass comments ...

"Risk is a lot less in the Dow." Oh, that would have gone unchallenged for about 1 nanosecond in the

Delta Sigma Phi

frat room. Why? Because the Dow is down 10% so far this year! That's


risk? Less risk than what? Signing

Dennis Rodman

? Having


sing the "Star Spangled Banner"? Giving

Kevin Costner

a big budget to make "Waterworld II"? Get a grip man; the Dow is a friggin' minefield and could yet drop another 10%!

"The Dow is telling a story." Huh? What? What story? That it's signaling the rest of the market will go down? Wrong! It's signaling that people hate old, stodgy companies that are stuck in the "Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" era! The Dow no longer equals "safe." It equals "dull and out of touch!"

"Hackers are no big deal." Right, like small pox was no big deal. Like the San Francisco earthquake was no big deal. Like the Borg were no big deal! Listen to me, hackers


a big deal. Did you ever see

Die Hard II

? Good God man, these guys can crash airplanes! Or how about


? Seriously, not all of these guys grow up to be

Robert Redford

! Some of them turn out to be like that evil

Ben Kingsley

. And not the Ben Kingsley in


! So, whatever you do, please have the common sense to at least say that folks are a bit worried.

"People are not worried." Hello? HELLO? Did you not just hear me? Did you just beam in from some bizarro world where they're still using punch cards? OK, want to get worried? Turn off your computer for three days. Good, now continue trying to live your life. Now do you understand why hackers


a big deal?

The "B" Block: Biotech Fund Debate

Joe Bousquin


Dagen McDowell

, I love you guys. Dagen, I especially love that accent. Joe, you come across as a sharp young man on the move up. And you both did a very credible job of debating the pros and cons of some various funds. At least I think you did, because after I heard you were focusing on biotech, I spent the rest of your segment steaming that you were talking about

the same exact topic of my prediction!

So, listen up: Henceforth, you will clear every single thing you talk about with me! I am the focus of the show. I am to look good at everyone else's expense. If you have a topic that there's even a remote chance that I'll discuss, you are to steer clear of it. Remember,


am the star. You are here to serve my needs! Thank you.

The "C" Block: Chartman


Adam Lashinsky

's going first? For


segments? Oh, shoot! That completely throws off my incredibly delicate timing! Really, I have no clue why he is even in the segment! But, he's there, so I have to listen to him. "Blah, blah, blah." Something about valuation, IPOs, ratios. Whatever, just get to me,

so I can be a star!

(Note to me: Talk to producer; get Adam's portion whittled down to less than 5 seconds!)

Oh, swell. He's done and now

Brenda Buttner

is throwing it to me. Well, listen up, Brenda: I am not used to going second. In fact, I'm an idiot when I go second! Yes, true, I'm an idiot when I go first, too, but that's beside the point.

Whew! We're finally done. Frankly, we stunk. It was totally Adam's fault, though: He just couldn't handle the pressure of going first. Yeah, Mr. Big Shot had to be on the "A" block and used up any good stuff he had sparring with the

Capitalist Pig

. Way to go, Adam!

Well, at least our producer, Gary Schreier, will lie to us and say, "Great segment, guys" like he always does to make us feel better. And ...


Right, I'm listening for Schreier's mellifluous voice, and what do I hear? Nothing. Zippo. That's right, we must have really stunk, because he didn't even have the common decency to lie to our faces and tell us we did a good job, even though we sucked. Damn you, Adam: You're fired!

The "D" Block: Predictions

Oh great. It's like doom and gloom alley here. Seriously, where is

Jim Cramer

when you need him? Oh, there he is, saying ...

Philip Morris


will lose a big lawsuit. Huh? I expected something cheery. Something upbeat. Some big lie, for crying out loud! Instead, we get this bearish imposter who ... no wait, he's saying Philip Morris will go


after the decision. OK, great. I feel a bit better now.

Oh, but here's the Capitalist Pig calling for Dow 9000. Yeah, there's a quick pick-me-up. I can't let that go unchallenged, so I think for a while then come up with a brilliant zinger: "No way." Wow, wonderful, GBS. Very thoughtful and loaded with logic. Boy, I bet you blew the viewers away with that one.


Herb Greenberg

says something and Adam says something. Yeah, fine. They're making their stuff up anyway, so let's just cut to the chase and get to ME.

OK, here goes: "The hottest HOLDr of the year will be

Biotech HOLDRs


!" And ... everyone's sleeping. No one even cares. No one's even listening! Darn it, I knew Dagen and Joe would screw me up! Seriously, try to imagine my prediction without having first heard Joe and Dagen drone on. See? It sounds a lot better now, doesn't it? Innovative. Fresh. Insightful. And, really, when you think about it, it was the


of the predictions. In fact, I don't even know why we have the other guys on the predictions part! (Note to me, part II: Talk to Schreier. Figure out way for me to do all five predictions!)

And that, folks, is a wrap, as we say in the "biz." Join me next week for "" TV show ... starring

Gary B. Smith


Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. At time of publication, he held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Smith writes five technical analysis columns for each week, including Technician's Take, Charted Territory and TSC Technical Forum. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback at