I was going to write yet another piece about what could happen when the U.S. stock market reopens on Monday, but I couldn’t. It’s time to write about Bill Meehan.
Bill Meehan was the chief market analyst for Cantor Fitzgerald, which occupied floors 101-105 of the World Trade Center’s North Tower, the first target hit in Tuesday’s gutless attack. Not a single Cantor employee from those floors has been heard from. 680 of the firm’s employees are missing.
Bill Meehan was one of the very best. He was honest, direct, and you always knew where he stood. And where he stood was rare ground among Wall Street analysts. He frequently went against the crowd – and was usually right when he did.
Meehan turned bearish on stocks before the market top last year, saving his clients a fortune in the U.S. bear market that is now in its 18th month. He nailed the April bottom in the market to the day, witness this wise and humorous column he wrote the next day for TheStreet.com. If that wasn’t enough, he was quick to turn bearish again over the summer, when it first became clear that economic weakness was spreading.
And he did it all with style, energy and humor. And now that energy is gone.
Meehan was also a longtime member of the Silicon Investor community, one of the few major Wall Street analysts who dared defend his views in the give-and-take of stock message boards. He developed many friends and admirers during his 5 1/2 years on SI, and the sense of loss in the community was palpable.
And he is just one of 680 Cantor employees unaccounted for, amidst thousands of others who likely will never be heard from again.
And that’s why it finally became too hard to write about the market this morning.
Meehan, 49, has a wife and three children. And friends and admirers too numerous to count.