I think this guy is ABSOLUTELY correct.
This recession IS different and there are only two comparable declines to measure against (japan in the 90s and the U.S. in the 30s).
11 months of new house supply vs. 9 months in the early 90s (big recession). As a result, he sees another 15% decline in housing in 2009.
Consumer staple stocks is the way to go, in their opinion, for those that like big cap stocks with dividends. I think that is sound but tobacco, while not socially responsible, pays HIGH dividends and seems to be HIGHLY recommended by them.
I'll update later today/tomorrow in the comment section with some other thoughts from Merrill Lynch....
Another thought....I wonder if he still has a job after the research layoffs as Bank of America merges research with Merrill Lynch. I think he has been VERY right the year!