Irrational Exuberance

El-Erian Warns Of America's CONfidence Economy

Financial markets seem convinced that the recent surge in business and consumer confidence in the US economy will soon be reflected in “hard” data, such as GDP growth, business investment, consumption, and wages. But economists and policymakers are not so sure. (To some outside the US, it is an assumption that sometimes looks a lot like blind faith.)

The "Super Bowl Party Conversation" Indicator

"The party this weekend was an example of the third stage. Wives were walking around with freshly injected lips and botoxed faces. Men were brandishing new Rolex watches while bragging about their latest acquisitions. I now know more about their personal stock portfolios than I do about their children’s latest successes."

The Problem With Forecasts

Talk about conflicted. Just ask yourself WHY Wall Street spends BILLIONS of dollars each year in marketing and advertising trying to keep you invested at all times. Since optimism is what sells products, it is not surprising, as we head into 2017, to see Wall Street’s average expectation ratcheted up another 4.7% this year.

Weekend Reading: The Beginning Of The Ending

The only other time in history where the Dow advanced 5000 points over a 24-month period was during the 1998-1999 period of “irrational exuberance” as the Fed was fighting the fears an inflationary advance, while valuations were rising and GDP growth rates were slowing. Maybe it’s just coincidence. Maybe “this time is different.” Or it could just be the inevitable beginning of the ending of the current bull market cycle.

20 Years Later, Greenspan's "Irrational Exuberance" Has Become Even More Irrational

December 5, 1996:  “Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty about the future, and lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets.  But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions?"