Who are the real "contarian indicators?"
It seems everyone is a contrarian these days. I've seen the term thrown about in the general media, and all through CAPS blogs, used in wildly differing ways. Because there seem to be more bears than bulls on CAPS, the bullish bloggers say that running against all the gloom-and-doom makes them the true contrarians. Bearish bloggers say the ridiculous assertions of the PPT make them the genuine article. I've seen a top-rated blogger refer to another top-rated blogger as a "contrarian indicator." Heck, I even did that myself (though the spirit was tongue-in-cheek) a few months back, although as I recall you could hardly call the other guy top-rated, scorewise anyway. I think the misuse of the term reflects what happens when a once useful descriptor becomes a cliche.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take a cab ride. The driver, a regular guy, was good-natured and quite chatty. He told me about the drug habit he beat, and about his second wife, who got all his money; we touched on a wide range of topics. He told me that "they are saying on the news" that the recession is over, and the markets are "gonna be fine now." I'll take my cabbie as my true, personal, contrarian indicator.
Oh, and he also said that "the war is over--all the troops are gonna be comin' home now." Guess which way I think that one is going?