by Charles A. Monagan
Nov 29, 2011
09:25 AM
On Connecticut

All-Knowing But Unseeing


Do big-time economists have their heads in the clouds rather than their feet on the ground? You better believe it.

This morning on CNBC's "Squawk Box" program, an investment expert named Laszlo Birinyi was offering up his five top stock picks for 2012. The second on his list was People's United Bank (PBCT), based in Bridgeport, which he likes for its 5%-plus dividend yield.

A little later, the economist at the table, Stephen Roach, a Morgan Stanley VP and Yale School of Management lecturer, chirped up. "I live in Connecticut," he said, "and I never heard of People's Bank of Connecticut. It sounds like a Chinese branch."

Birinyi briefly defended his pick while the others at the table looked on with what seemed to be embarrassment.

For Roach's information, People's United Bank is the largest New England-based bank, with over $24 billion in assets, 300 branches and 400 ATMs. It's just another case of someone - a Wall Street expert - purporting to know about the world when he doesn't even know his own neighborhood.  

All-Knowing But Unseeing

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