The Second Largest Bubble in 100 Years
How big is the current stock bubble?
How about the second-biggest stock bubble of the past 100 years! That’s the conclusion of veteran market technician Erik McCurdy, senior market technician for Prometheus Market Insight.
Based on current price-earnings (P/E) ratios, “Only the peak in 2000 during the dot-com bubble created a more overvalued market than the current one,” warns McCurdy.
The S&P 500 is up a blistering 240% from its March 2009 lows. Yet the overall economy creeps along at half-steam. The recovery — such as it is — is the weakest since the Great Depression.
What accounts for the discrepancy? Is it the Fed?
If you think it is, you’ve probably been reading lots of Jim Rickards and David Stockman.
And you’d also be right…
McCurdy: “Those gains have been fueled primarily by the Federal Reserve and its reckless stimulus policies… By holding short-term interest rates near zero for seven years, the Federal Reserve has encouraged malinvestment and speculation… creating massive market distortions and imbalances.”
Does he say when the bubble meets its inevitable end? No. No one can precisely. We know one brilliant analyst who’s predicted, to the date, hour and minute, 11 of the past two crashes. In the famous words attributed to John Maynard Keynes, “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”
But McCurdy says “at a current duration of nearly eight years, the latest cyclical top is long overdue and could form at any time.”
But this McCurdy fellow isn’t the only one eyeing straws in the wind…
Julian Emanuel is U.S. equity and derivatives strategist at UBS. From whom:
“The wall of worry which has supported stocks for eight years has given way to a deep sense of hope and optimism.”
Optimism. Isn’t that good? Not always:
“Such optimism is often seen near the end of bull moves/beginning of corrections rather than at the early or midstages.”
Optimism? The S&P has gone 70 straight sessions without a single fall of 1% or more, and it’s working hard on 71 — its longest streak since 2006, when it hit 94, according to CNBC.
“And you can remember what happened in 2007 and 2008,” warns Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management.
Indeed, we can. More: “There’s definitely some sort of a storm coming. I don’t know if it’s going to be mild, or more severe, but it’s almost impossible for me to believe that we’re just going to have this… calm for much longer. Something’s going to trip the markets and they’re going to get corrected.”
Ah, yes, something. But what exactly?
China goes for a “maxi-devaluation” of the yuan, perhaps. Many think China could do it soon. The market saw double-digit corrections the last two times China devalued a few percent, in 2015 and 2016. What would a 20% devaluation do?
Maybe something happens with Russia. Or maybe the media dig up something on Trump that roils markets. Or the Fed botches its way into another crash.
Whatever it is, the experts will probably miss it and then explain afterward how obvious it was at the time. And here’s a prediction, sure as sugar: They’ll try to pin it all on Trump. Even if he had zilch to do with it.
The establishments (plural), the globalists, the media all loathe Trump with a passion verging on lunacy. And what better way to discredit him and all the stump-toothed, gun-toting, beer-swilling deplorables from flyover country who put him in office?
Their cry will be this: “See what happens when those know-nothing, anti-globalist populists are allowed to call the shots? If we were in charge, none of this would have happened! (And under their breath: America first, we’ll see about that.”)
Many people will believe them. Then the elites can resume their places atop the pyramid. And the rest of us can resume our own places… far beneath.