Charles Hugh Smith examines this important but often neglected question. Really, who does benefit from a bust?
If it does, and eventually it will, watch out. We will enter completely new economic territory. You think things have been wild since 2008? If people truly call out the emperor as naked, if that becomes the consensus, holy moly, are things going to get interesting.
Newsflash! Things are not good economically.
Most people make significantly less in inflation adjusted terms than they did prior to the 2008 Crash. And it should be noted that the economy prior to the Crash felt pretty hollow too. People forget this now. But nearly everyone was living off of the housing bubble in the Bush years. That’s why it hurt so bad when housing ate it.
Remember the sea of realtors? At one point – around 2006 – it was basically impossible to go to a barbecue without meeting a realtor or a mortgage person. Idiot sons across the country were making money hand over fist, buying Suburbans, and getting in on rental properties. Where did all those people go? Actually don’t tell me. That the depression has wiped out this crowd is one the few positive outcomes of the last few years in my estimation.
Can’t you just feel the excitement in the economy? It’s palpable. Boom. Boom. Boom. Good times! Happy days!
In the attached article from CNBC the point is made that the real bubble is likely an inflated confidence in the Federal Reserve.That come what may, the Fed will intervene in markets and buoy them. So what if stocks are over extended, Yellen and the FOMC will save the banker’s posteriors. As we’ve said before this sounds very much like “housing prices always go up” to us. If sentiment regarding the Fed were to change, if traders were to fear that things were bigger than the Fed, a downdraft could be wicked.
We’ll see. There’ve been many blips over the past 5 years and for the most part the pro-Fed folks have been right as far as equity prices are concerned. (Little else.) Maybe this is just another blip on the way to Dow 20,000 and beyond.
But maybe not.
Faber is a smart guy who has been wrong and he has been right. He was particularly sharp in February of 2009 when he called the bottom of a market he didn’t want to buy. I remember him doing this so I listen when he speaks.
It’s been an interesting if not fun ride up in the markets. Through a 6-year economic slowdown stock markets have rallied and rallied and rallied. Everyone assumes that the Fed is backstopping the market, that it has to for political reasons. So people have piled in even though earnings and economic indicators have been generally lackluster. Sounds almost like “house prices never go down.”
But not quite.
The economic tide has been going out for quite a while, but the pace has just quickened in emerging markets – big time. Things have become quite unsteady and no one knows whether the current instability will trigger something broader in the developed economies. China is slowing. Japan has horns locked with China economically and increasingly politically. Europe is catching its breath before another wave rolls through.