Irrational Exuberance

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?"

Frontrunning: December 5

  • Italy Sinks Into Political Limbo as Defeat Sweeps Renzi Away (BBG)
  • Investors Shrug Off Italy Referendum Result (WSJ); Markets Rise After Italy Turns Down Referendum (BBG)
  • Italy’s ‘No’ Poses Trouble for Eurozone (WSJ)
  • Oil tops $55 for first time in 16 months as OPEC deal fuels buying (Reuters)
  • Merkel regrets Renzi resignation but will work with new Italy government (Reuters)

The Bull Giveth, The Bear Taketh, & You’re Not Passive

Speculators often prosper through ignorance; it is a cliché that in a roaring bull market knowledge is superfluous and experience a handicap. But the typical experience of the speculator is one of temporary profit and ultimate loss.

In His Own Words: From Maestro To Mea Culpa

Alan Greenspan is shamelessly trying to get ahead of what he seems to be calling the mob, the crazies who at some point will start digging into what he actually did at the Fed rather than simply accepting the myths that he still manages to live by.