Zero Visibility

No, this isn't the weather page. Wall Street just can't get its collective head out of the clouds

Lou Gerstner disavowed the importance of vision eight years ago, when he became CEO of then beleaguered IBM. "The last thing IBM needs is a vision," he said, playing up the company's immediate ills. President Bush--the first one--famously lamented voters' focus on "the vision thing." Bill Gates once said that "being a visionary is trivial." Ahem. Wall Street begs to differ. In the post-bubble slowdown, investors can't get enough vision from decision makers. In fact, in many cases they can't get any. And that's the problem.

Investing's latest buzzword is "visibility." "Are you tired of the word?" Merrill Lynch recently asked...

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