Photo: CNBC screenshot
Meredith Whitney is primarily known these days for predicting a massive wave of muni defaults, which did not come true.But contrary to what you might think, Meredith Whitney, the CEO of Whitney Advisory Group, said this morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that she does not advise her clients on municipal bonds.
Whitney is known predicting significant municipal bond defaults during an interview on “60 Minutes” back in December of 2010.
Speficially she said:
“I never advise my clients on municipal bonds. That was not ever part of my argument. It was a side, you know, it happened to be what ’60 Minutes’ focused on.
“But what I’ve advised my clients on doing is look where the growth is going to come from. It cannot come from these vortex economies like California, like Arizona, Nevada, areas that powered our economy.
UPDATE: CNBC’s Gary Kaminsky just called Whitney out on “Squawk on the Street” for saying that.
“We’re not going to let Ms. Whitney re-write history as much as she’d like to do. The fact is when she came on ’60 Minutes’ she made a bold prediction about the number of defaults we would see in the municipal bond market. If we take a look at the MUB–the ETF that tracks the municipal bond market–over the last three years, again, we’ve pointed out data in terms of defaults, she scared thousands of people out of owning municipal bonds.”
He said munis have been a good place for people to be invested in.
“Over the last year-and-a-half, a very good place for people that needed income, especially tax-free income, to be invested. Record highs in terms of prices, record lows in terms of yields.”
Kaminsky said he now wants to watch all of the “60 Minutes” footage featuring Whitney.
“This idea that she wants to re-write history by saying…she said if you go and listen to the full two hours, not just the snippet that ’60 Minutes’ played where she made this prediction, she really wasn’t making the prediction… I’m sorry. You know what let’s get ’60 Minutes’ to release that footage. I’ll watch everything. If I have to come back here and eat crow and basically say that she wasn’t making that bold prediction, I’ll do it.”
Kaminsky then looked directly into the camera and said the following: “So ’60 Minutes’ release that footage because it had a dramatic impact on the investing public and a lot of that pain is still being felt.”
That’s not all. Kaminsky also challenged Whitney on another headline she made this morning when she said she never advised her clients on municipal bonds.
To which he responded, “I know that to be factually incorrect because many of her clients actively shorted the MUB Index as a result of this research call. Again, you can’t rewrite history.”
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