Friday , 22 September 2023

In Full “Cringe” Mode Yet? If Not, You Should Be – Here’s Why

…Some market watchers are now in full cringe mode. To “cringe” is a verb meaning “to bend one’s riskrewardballsinstackhead and body in fear or in a servile manner”. Synonyms include: “to cower, to shrink and to recoil, as to recoil in horror”, and that may be what we should be doing rather than buying into the idea [that] all is well.

The comments above and below are excerpts from an article by Bruce Wilds which has been edited ([ ]) and abridged (…) to provide a fast & easy read.

The market melt-up after the election when Donald Trump surprised almost all market watchers off-guard but what we see happening today has lifted this activity to a whole new level. Two decades ago Allen Greenspan who was the chairman of the Federal Reserve coined the term irrational exuberance, however, greed might have been just appropriate. It should be noted that his comment was not made at the market high but things continued moving ever higher before crashing with a thud.

While we have been conditioned to expect and accept markets to generally trend higher, the recent moves could be deemed “stupidity on steroids”. Today we see faith in a system that has failed us so many times in the past given a green light to race forward into new territory. Little is being asked in the way of justifying many of these new valuations. Only time will tell but this may be the “blow off top” that often precludes a long harsh decline.

Speculation rather than investing has become the norm and this is driven by low-interest rates and stacking more debt upon that which already exists. The disconnect between equities and stock prices from the realities of Main Street coupled with growing deficit spending by governments should give any prudent person pause. If the massive amounts of money fleeing across borders and leaving countries like China do not raise a grave concern I question what it will take to get the attention of the average investor.

I’m very confident that we are not in a traditional bubble and that is what leaves me feeling very uncomfortable. Traditionally bubbles are contained within one country or area but this time a worldwide quality is very evident.

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