Merrill Finds That Money Manager Confidence In Stocks At All Time Record High

Tyler Durden's picture

And the latest confirmation that nothing will ever go wrong again, since if it does it will mean everyone will be TBTF, being on the same side of the sinking ship, comes courtesy of the formerly insolvent bank known as Merrill (and now as taxpayer bailed out Bank of Countrywide Lynch), whose survey of money managers has just found that more are bullish on global stocks than at any time in the history of the survey. As in "ever." "A net 67 percent of respondents, who together manage $569 billion, had an “overweight” position on global equities, the highest level since the survey first asked the question in April 2001. That compares with 55 percent in January and 40 percent in December. Meanwhile, a net 9 percent is “underweight” cash, the lowest allocation since January 2002." Translation: everyone is long stocks. Every "balls to the wall" one. The Bernanke Put has succeeded in eliminating every last drop of risk from the stock market.

From Bloomberg:

The February survey “is one of the most bullish in years,” Gary Baker and Michael Hartnett, equity strategists at BofA Merrill Lynch, wrote in a report today. “Surging inflation expectations show we are no longer in a Goldilocks environment and a meaningful tactical correction in risk assets could be caused by a jump in interest rates or weaker U.S. growth.”

A net 34 percent of survey respondents are now “overweight” U.S. equities, up from 27 percent in January.
Appetite for euro-area stocks has also risen, to net 11 percent “overweight” from 9 percent “underweight” in January.

Meanwhile, February saw the biggest decline in emerging-market exposure in the survey’s history, with net 5 percent of managers now “overweight” global emerging-markets equities, down from January’s 43 percent.

“Unusually, higher risk appetite has been accompanied by a dramatic downsizing in asset allocation to emerging markets, as surging global growth expectations have increased the value attractions of developed-market alternatives,” London-based Baker, head of European equities strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch, said in a statement.

The survey was conducted between Feb. 4 and Feb. 10.

Simply said, there hasn't been a greater allocation of people on the same side of a sinking cruise ship since the Titanic. Too bad Chairsatan Generalissimo Vissarionvich von Bernankestein wasn't alive back then to prevent that particaular disaster.

Full "Merrill" report:


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LeBalance's picture

Well, that's a Black Swan all by itself.

Carl Spackler's picture

If everyone is buying, then it is time to sell !

ColonelCooper's picture

This is gonna end well.

jus_lite_reading's picture

It already has- Wall Street insiders sold $3 BILLION of stock in the past 4 weeks alone.

pods's picture

My thoughts exactly!


TomJoad's picture

Yep. we all know what this means.

Shoulda' jumped when they had the chance.




dwdollar's picture

They'll have another chance someday.

Greater Fool's picture

Very reassuring. Plenty of people still at dinner to get stuck with the check.

HamyWanger's picture

Just made a handsome P/L on AAPL today.

I don't understand why permabears short this market: do they love to lose money? Or they just want to become slaves?

Zero Govt's picture


i've just shorted your arse today and let me tell you why. You can only see up, up, up, and you "don't understand permabears" so you cannot see any down nor do you have any fear of risk. You are the very essence of a bubble, though some here think you're just full of hot air (same thing i suppose!). So i'm betting your confidence deflates from todays 100% to a rather sullen 50% glass half empty/full over the next 3 months. Let's see what happens ok.... and best of luck keeping inflated Hamy, you're going to need it after the crash!

The Axe's picture

This could go on forever too...just like the crazy insider selling vs insider buying..That has been going on for 14 months..yet market goes higher...The Fed is in complete control of markets with constant bid and flow of liquidity.. market can't correct...

topcallingtroll's picture

Swim with the whales boyz. They usually know the right direction. Just dont get beached!

jus_lite_reading's picture

Well of course! When you can throw a DART at the WSJ stock page and hit a winner, then who wouldn't be "confident" so long as Dr. Deficit is printing away!!!!

Zero Govt's picture

sell (short) the fuking top first...

..patience Buzz patience

The Axe's picture

I thought you were stuck in a snowbank Hamy...please leave...your bullshit is so apparent

Quintus's picture

I'm waiting for some comments from all the paper bugs who never tire of telling us that gold is a bubble because 'Everybody' owns it.

Whaddya think guys - does this mean that *gasp* stocks may be in an even bigger bubble?  If not, how do you rationalise this to yourselves?  Do you, in fact, even try or do you just blindly believe the bobbleheads on CNBC when they say everything is just peachy in the stock market?

Bearster's picture


You make a really excellent point.  It's not that people are stupid when they fail to see a point.  They are selectively dishonest.  Leftists can talk all day long about how global climate or resource usage or whatever is unsustainable.  But then they look at exponentially growing deficits (i.e. borrowing) and look the other way.  Right-wingers can talk about how there is no way to win a "war" on poverty, but they love to other wars on nouns (drugs and terror).

cougar_w's picture

The music plays until the conductor gets tired and walks away.

random shots's picture

Compensation based on one year benchmarks is detrimental to investors. No manager wants to be the lone ranger....better to lose all your money along with everyone else. It wasn't my was the market!

omi's picture

Meanwhile, a net 9 percent is “underweight” cash, the lowest allocation since January 2002." Translation: everyone is long stocks. 

Seems like a reading failure.

lsbumblebee's picture

If Chairstain Ben had been on the Titanic he would have papered over the hull breach.

buzzsaw99's picture

He would have helped first class passengers into the lifeboats with all the loot.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

To keep it afloat, he would have had EVERYONE move to one side of the trade...I mean ship.

"Everyone gets long...nobody gets hurt."

            -Cramer, Your Yeoman Purser*


*Funny how Cramer's troubles with the SEC seem to have gone away once he turned uber-bullish.

rosiescenario's picture

In the olden days this would be worrisome news, but in our New Era it is good choice but to continue POMO...cannot let the market crash...the average consumer would lose what little confidence is left.

Mae Kadoodie's picture

i've seen this movie before:  Taking of Pelham 123

bob_dabolina's picture

"Countrywide Lynch"

I see what you did there and I approve.

alien-IQ's picture

"Full speed ahead"

Captain Edward Smith - April 15, 1912

Robslob's picture

I am thinking Ben hasn't thought this all the way through...the higher the price the less you can buy with the same amount of POMO.

Please God...let this Ponzi continue so I can be the last insider out of the market on June 1st when my last stack of options vest....please!

alangreedspank's picture


How can people have more trust in the stocks market ? Other than government and burger flipper jobs, what jobs were created since the lows of March 2009 ?


monopoly's picture

Damn the torpedoes. Yes, full speed ahead. What more can we say.

Cdad's picture

Most comical in this long sad tragedy, now being punctuated in the sale of the floor of the NYSE, is the fact that so called "smart money" does not understand the connection between their rationale to sell [namely, to create economies of scale] and the fact that under current financial leadership, Americans have lost faith...hence, the absence of business.  But of course, it is easier to arbitrage the problem rather than fix it.

And we the huddled masses, we, the scourge of the Earth, are supposed to be celebrating the sale of that floor, once an icon of capitalism, to Germany.

I have a better idea.  Rather than selling it, how about we hire the NY fire department to drive to the corner of Wall And Broad St, hook up their hoses, and clean the place out?  After that, take the thing private.  Huh?

This pending transaction is yet another clear example of just what is wrong.  Would that it were that they instead discover morality, and pair it with capitalism, while fixing their gaze upon the nation and its inherent need for a place where capital could properly form up.

The criminal syndicate known as Wall Street knows no bounds.

Rainman's picture

Surveys are popular instruments for all Department of Truth administrators. The result will always be what they want them to be. No exceptions.

Robslob's picture


You guys have this all wrong...maybe, just maybe we have finally figured out how to:

1) Export corruption

2) Export Wall Street

3) Export the Fed

4) Possibly export our own Government (debt included) to Germany!



PeterSchump's picture

This time is different.  The economy is so bad it can only get better, and all of the Ivy League educated, best and brightest of the nation know it is so.

youngman's picture

The smart money sells this fake gain..and buys gold and silver..and just waits....thats all you can do....

Johnny Lawrence's picture

When all the experts and forecasts agree, something else happens.

gwar5's picture

That's probably why I'm out of the market and doing other things. In a crash and money crises there will be a run on money and money markets. I'm not playing that.

Johnny Lawrence's picture

Also notice the bullishness in commodities. They're going down when the equity market does, although I believe they're in a long-term secular bull market, as opposed to equities.

And notice the extreme bearishness on bonds. It's not contrarian to be anti-bonds.

JR's picture

This is bad news for Americans, that these people are optimistic. If you’re optimistic at this juncture, you’re on a different ship than we Americans are.  And that ship is getting mighy suspect.

SheepDog-One's picture

Money managers love stocks now? Surest sign its topped out.

treemagnet's picture

Markets so good huh?  Then why the fuck do we need POMO injections?

jobs1234's picture

What I cant get is the dichotomy between emerging markets equity "hate" and developed worlds equity "love"

Look at a statement like this:

IBM (IBM) CFO says co. targeting larger percentage of revenue from emerging market

So a developed country and its companies is relying on emerging markets for growth while that same emerging market is raising interest rates like mad, watching its stock market correct, and doing everything in its power to control inflation.

Such is investing in 2011: emerging markets suck but they will buy our products and keep our margins up

antidisestablishmentarianismishness's picture

When is the imaginary trapdoor going to open?  You know, the one that supposedly doesn't allow the bulls to escape.

The trapdoor theory is rubbish, nonsense, hogwash, etc.  A bullish turtle on Quaaludes will be able to escape easily.

slaughterer's picture

I love the image of thousands of money managers falling through a trap door opened by a bear done in Peter Max "Yellow Submarine" type graphics.  

bbucks's picture

I smell smoke....I think the building is on fire.  Hope I can beat the Goldman machines and be the first one out the exits!  NOT!  There goes your shitty 401k's down the toilet bowl!

Buck Johnson's picture

This happened because the govt. essentially made it harder to short equities (the war on shorters 20 months ago).  The govt. and/or the western banks manipulated gold and silver keeping it down.  The govt. circumvented decades old bankruptcy law to keep the game going (GM).  What investors have found out is that they don't have the coin to take on the Fed because of all the printed money, monetization of debt and it's ability to warp law to their liking.  So they are trying to make money in the artifical market by going long and selling when a profit is seen to be had.  You are correct, they are all on one side of the sinking boat, but thats whats left and they know it.

Thats the problem with massive govt. manipulation of an economy, it skews the economic models to the point of being absurd.  And by doing this and not allowing the market to show it's true issues, it allows entities both financial and political in our country and others to do things on bad data or "good data".  And this can set into motion processes that could cause a number of Black Swan events.

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