“There’s a lot of risk going ahead of some big bumps. There’s a very big risk that markets have been irrationally exuberant.”

-Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz

>

Far be it from me to challenge the 2001 economics Nobel prize winner, but sometimes, indeed, quite often, markets decouple from the economic fundamentals.

I can show you many eras in history when the economy was awful, and nonetheless markets rallied strongly.

There have also been times when earnings did not matter, and profitability was irrelevant. There are times when animal spirits run the show, when irrational exuberance was in charge.

Such is the result of giving two million primates lots of money and keyboards and a belief they can make a living based on numbers and letters moving around — on a screen, in a futures pit, on an exchange floor, or even under a buttonwood tree.

Most mainstream economists — with notable exceptions like John Maynard Keynes, Richard Thaler, and Robert Shiller — have traditionally paid little attention to this reality. To a trader or investor, rationality matters far less than what the tape was doing.

Indeed, prices matter a great deal more to traders than theories or annoying things like “Objective Reality. To a trader, prices ARE the objective reality; to them economic theorists are peripheral players trying to rationalize reality.

I believe you can describe and explain what the market is doing, but in doing so, we must acknowledge Keynes terriblyu accurate observation that “Markets can stay irrational far longer than you can stay solvent.”

I’ll have more on this later in the week . . .

>

Source:
Stiglitz Says Markets ‘Irrationally Exuberant’ About Recovery
Francine Lacqua and Jeremy Torobin
Bloomberg, October 6 2009

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=axwPuzGWUNR0

Category: Economy, Markets, Psychology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

66 Responses to “What Does the Economy Have to Do with the Market?”

  1. Futures look quite strong this morning . . .

  2. ben22 says:

    The stock market has been detached from reality going back much further than 2009. By virtually every measure of economic health (not the stock market) the economy from 1975-1999 was far weaker than the economic growth from 1942-1966.

    We’ll see what those consumer animal spirits look like this week when consumer credit is released. Retail Joes dont’ seem to have much going on right now in the way of Animal Spirits. They haven’t really participated in the stock market rally as evidenced by the allocation to cash/bonds vs. stocks and all these “green shoots” still lead to more jobs lost on main street since this rally started than during the entire last recession. And, now you have Costco and Kroger blaming deflation:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/10/deflation-threat-what-deflation-threat.html

  3. to chisel the QOTD into the ether:

    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. -—Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    Lenin, he knew how to handle some bourgeoisie~

    too bad, many took notes, and the bourgeoisie have been beset by too many, additional, adulterants to pay any mind–even on Credit.

  4. AmenRa says:

    Just when I thought we were heading into a trend change the market is trying not to confirm the change by closing lower. The SPX weekly TLB reversed on Friday but we haven’t retested the low. The futures are running as fast as they can in the other direction. My guess is that the market and the economy are related when traders and investors are not in denial.

    Oh yeah SPX weekly TLB chart here: http://tinyurl.com/y92omou

  5. further, on the denial front http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/cherniawski/2009/1002.html

    “…On October 2, 1930…

    Railcar loadings for week ended Sept. 20 were down 18.4% vs. 1929 and 16.7% vs. 1928; considered disappointing, largest percentage drop this year.

    …and Today.

    The Association of American Railroads today reported 271,659 carloads for the week ending Sept. 26, 2009, down 17.1 percent compared with the same week in 2008. For the first 38 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 10,104,171 carloads, down 18.2 percent from 2008; 7,141,006 trailers or containers, down 16.8 percent, and total volume of an estimated 1.08 trillion ton-miles, down 17.3 percent. Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending September 26 was estimated at 28.8 billion ton-miles, off 17.2 percent from the same week last year…”

  6. Bruce in Tn says:

    I think you could reverse the question and pose one: What does the market have to do with the economy?

    …The average workweek, just reported, was down to 33.0 hours.

    QED.

  7. [...] about my kind of work that’s just too good to pass up. So if you’re interested, read this. I’m anticipating the follow [...]

  8. Bruce in Tn says:

    http://www.joc.com/node/413794

    Maersk Exec Says ‘Transformation’ Needed

    “Bingham said even state-controlled carriers may eventually find that their governments will eventually tire of bankrolling heavy losses. “It’s hard to imagine the industry getting out of this without some financial failures,” he said.”

    ….Oh, I can think of one government that may not get tired….of bankrolling heavy losses, that is….

  9. wally says:

    This market, being dominated by big players who more or less understand the bluff they are running, may not crash for a long, long time. Effectively, they have made the market an unsafe and undesirable place for the retail investor. The problem is, the current paper profits can’t be pulled out until the retail investor – the mark – comes in to the casino.

  10. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Mark E Hoffer Says:

    “Lenin, he knew how to handle some bourgeoisie~”
    _________

    Good stuff, MEH!

  11. Ponchovilla says:

    Seems to me Ben Graham said something about this topic with a very efficient use of words… “irrational” “solvent”. Ya’ll know the drill?

  12. dss says:

    Revolutions come when the peasants and the newly beggared bourgeoisie rise up against the privileged class. It was no accident that the US government instituted great socialist reforms during the 30′s.

  13. HCF says:

    @BR:
    >Futures look quite strong this morning . . .

    Looks like the “dollar goes down forever” trade continues on!

    HCF

  14. HCF says:

    @AmenRa:

    Price action is positive on the SPX, but the volume yesterday was pathetic… My guess is a last gasp for this rally if the volume doesn’t pick up on the upside tape. Oh course, as I say that, today will probably be a huge volume day to the upside…

    HCF

  15. jc says:

    NYS tax receipts down 36% compared to 2008 and remember that Thain jammed the 2009 ML bonuses back into 2008 so that will make the 4Q 2009 even awfuller.

    Maybe NYS will need a bailout along with CA and Mich. Only short term solution to a really big problem is furloughs. The big money eating machine is the education industry and they can’t be furloughed but I bet NYS will delay reimbursements to local school districts which will create a ball of confusion.

    I’m glad Uncle Ben has determined the drecession has technically ended

  16. AmenRa says:

    Holy crap. Gold is over 1033. Even though the story about oil and the dollar has been refuted, gold is on a tear.

  17. Kort says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091006/us_nm/us_apartmentmarket

    The U.S. apartment market in the third quarter turned in one of its weakest performances ever as the national vacancy rate hit a 23-year high despite being propped up by landlords willing to take lower rent to keep tenants, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.

    In the third quarter, the U.S. apartment asking rental rate fell 0.5 percent to $1,035 per month, the fourth consecutive declining quarter. Factoring in months of free rent and other perks landlords have been using to lure or keep tenants, effective rent fell 0.3 percent to $972, also the fourth consecutive quarter of declining rent.

    “We have not seen that before,” Calanog said.

    ====
    Have not seen that before, indeed…

  18. beaufou says:

    As you say, markets are not rational and were never supposed to be.
    Just a few bets by individuals on the future to make money, absolutely nothing to do with politics and the future of the economy.
    The problem nowadays is that politicians are looking at the markets as an indicator while acting to make them look good, a bad mistake when we look at the current job market and its future, huge growth and huge returns on WS do not constitute a strategy for long term employment, unless you think middle management is the answer.
    Same goes for Healthcare where investors returns are obviously more important than health itself, the cost of the public option isn’t anywhere near what financial institutions are costing us, again, the pattern of irrationality in policies for the sake of WS.
    As De Gaulle once said about the stock market, I don’t look at it, I don’t pull my policies out of a basket.

  19. jc says:

    Unemployment getting worse, BAC looking for emergency CEO replacement for Ken Lewis who’s legal problems with the smelly ML deal seem to be getting worser

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hrLvfyXWuhCPQpjDvmKxlUcmfK_AD9B56AVG0

  20. Bruce in Tn says:

    http://247wallst.com/2009/09/29/retailers-lament-halloween-sales-turn-ugly/#

    Retailer’s Lament: Halloween Sales Turn Ugly

    “Pinched between poor back-to-school sales and a holiday sales season that is anticipated to be the worse in years is Halloween which generally brings retailers about $5 billion. This year will not be as good as last which may be telling when analysts look toward industry sales in November and December.

    The Nations Retail Federation says, “consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 on Halloween, down from $66.54 in 2008. That is a slide of 15%, and much of the retail industry cannot survive if holiday sales in last quarter are nearly as bad.”

    …Er, trick or treat…

  21. Mannwich says:

    I think beaufout hit the nail on the head here. Most of us know the markets are not reflective of the economy most times (certainly not even remotely close now), but our gov’t seems to use it to craft its policies. Everything they do seems designed to prop up our Ponzi markets. I think that’s because this is the easiest thing they can do (not best thing, mind you) because they think that confidence will follow a rising market and that confidence will be self-fulfilling and the economy will eventually follow. This may work in the short term, but those terms are getting ever shorter before the bubble mirage is exposed and the damage greater each time. I’m will past the point of anguish on this anymore. Acceptance has set in for me.

  22. Dan Duncan says:

    “Such is the result of giving two million primates lots of money and keyboards and a belief they can make a living based on numbers and letters moving around — on a screen, in a futures pit, on an exchange floor, or even under a buttonwood tree.”

    But what’s discussed here isn’t [g]ambling? Somehow…it’s investing/speculating….

    When people discuss [g]ambling, often they talk of The House, ie the [c]asino. When people discuss speculating, they often talk about the banking oligarchy….Yet the notion that CNBC and “Investing” blogs are nothing more than ESPN and a tip sheet blog dressed in an Armani clothing is labeled as blasphemy.

    I am definitely looking forward to what Barry has to say about price action and why what’s discussed here isn’t unadulterated [g]ambling but until then….

    In the past year…..if you bought or sold a stock on the basis of it’s price action…perhaps you conferred some “important level of support”…or RSI was crossing over 20….or you let one of Singer’s annotated charts influence you in any way, shape or form…

    Then you [g]ambled. And chances are, the collective record of the [g]amblers on this blog is no better than the bettors on a La$ Vega$ Football Blog.

    Again: There’s nothing wrong with [g]ambling (unless you can’t control yourself, or you somehow fool yourself that what you’re doing is somehow not [g]ambling). It’s the hypocrisy and the delusion that’s most troubling. People here understandably laugh and mock a guy buying NFL picks…but the same people will then turn around and take annotated charts, amorphous support/resistance and Head and Shoulder Tops seriously.

  23. HCF says:

    @Mannwich:
    > I think that’s because this is the easiest thing they can do (not best thing, mind you) because they think that confidence will follow a rising market and that confidence will be self-fulfilling and the economy will eventually follow.

    It’s funny to hear politicians and policymakers (rightfully) say incentives are skewed for investment bankers, who get their bonuses based on yearly performance. Hmmm, isn’t that the same thing as elected officials? You can promise your constituents the sky, but by the time their children are paying for it dearly 25 years down the line, they won’t care because they will be retired, out of office, relaxing on a beach in Tahiti, or dead. Talk about misaligned incentives!

    HCF

  24. HarryWanger says:

    We may hit 10k this week! Glad I still have my large AAPL position. Economy on the mend but market is in its own world right now and will continue to climb. I’m still looking for 11,500 Dow EOY.

  25. Bruce in Tn says:

    Me too Harry, gadflies need love too.

    Since Halloween is coming you could send some of your profits to Detroit…really unbelievable stuff there now…

    http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2009/09/30/n_detroit_dead_morgue_bodies.cnnmoney/

    Detroit’s dead pile up

  26. HCF says:

    @ Harry:
    >I’m still looking for 11,500 Dow EOY.

    Where’s the dollar index (DXY) when this happens… 70? 65? 60? In the grand scheme, in real terms, we’re treading water at best if that happens.

    HCF

  27. Mannwich says:

    @HCF: Why worry about such “trivialities”? We’re in a new bull market and mini-economic boom.

  28. beaufou says:

    I have a question for market savvy guys around here.
    Wouldn’t gold gaining $25 at this time be somewhat paradoxal?
    I don’t understand this one.

  29. HarryWanger says:

    HCF, Mannwich: This is not my comment but I agree with the assessment: “A weak dollar will be an important factor that should help America get through the restructuring of this economy.

    It should curtail American spending power abroad (lowering imports) and boost the country’s exports, which is a major plus to the nation’s income. A weak USD should help bring manufacturing back, and makes American labour more competitive internationally.

  30. dead hobo says:

    H Wanker,

    Volume is pretty light, meaning this is another tape painting session. It’s not real. I know that doesn’t matter to you, and you probably don’t even understand the concept. Are you really as dumb as you sound or are you a shill for some sales pundit?

  31. HarryWanger says:

    beaufou: You would think it would be paradoxical but not in the present climate. All commodities are rising on the dollar falling. Market also rises on the weak dollar. Gold, like equities, is happy with a falling dollar right now so it’s not that odd.

  32. HarryWanger says:

    dead hobo: I’m not “dumb”, I completely understand that the weak dollar is helping equities rise and I’m making money from that, light volume or not. Light volume will take the Dow to 11,500 if the dollar stays weak. I get that and I’m also profiting from it.

  33. beaufou says:

    I get that Harry,
    but gold is a refuge value, if the recession is over even with a weaken dollar and things are looking bright, why go for a systemic risk commodity.

  34. HarryWanger says:

    beaufou: I don’t think people are looking at it as a systemic risk commodity in the sense of economic fears but rather moving away from the dollar. At some point does that cause systemic risk? Probably, but that would be a major collapse in the dollar and that won’t happen.

  35. mcHAPPY says:

    Oh Harry. I thought there was hope for you after all after you comments last week and selling your long posisitons – minus Apple. You even sounded concerned, tuned in to the fact all is not well despite the ticker, weary enough to part with your posistions acquired on the “dips”. But here we are again in another classic pump and dump and you are falling for it hook, line, and sinker. Good luck my friend – it turns out you can lead a bull to reality but you can’t make him think.

  36. HarryWanger says:

    mcHappy: I get it. Really. Forget the economy for a second. I’m just talking about equities right now and the weak dollar is allowing that to move them higher. I watched the psychological chart pattern that was a total setup and bought some long ETFs yesterday at the open.

    Here’s how it works. In August everyone said September is going to be a terrible month for the market. So everyone dumps on 9/1. 9/2 has a very shallow follow through. Fast forward to end of September. Everyone says October is going to be awful for equities. 10/1, everyone sells. 10/2 shallow follow through. Then boom, it’s off to the races again. I get the game. It’s pretty easy these days.

  37. HCF says:

    @Harry:

    The problem with assuming exports will save us is that we IMPORT way more than we export so a weak dollars hurts us more than it helps us. What do we manufacture anyways? Cars, airplanes, corn, and heavy machinery. What do we import? Pretty much everything else…

    I’m not saying the dollar goes down forever / market goes up trade can’t hit your magical Dow 11,500 level because it certainly can, but when this thing unravels, it’s going to get very ugly very quickly.

    HCF

  38. HarryWanger says:

    HCF: If the dollar continues to fall to say the 72 level, where it was in spring of ’08, there’s a very good chance the market will mirror that move. It that were to happen the Dow could easily go to over 12,500 no problem. I believe the dollar will fall to that level so I’ll stick with long positions.

    To repeat: This is an easy money making opportunity. Markets go up while dollar goes down. We don’t see an end to the dollar falling right? So why wouldn’t you play long equities if you know they’ll continue upward on a downward dollar?

  39. HCF says:

    @Harry:

    We’re at ~76 on DXY and ~9700 on the…. So to say 72 on the DXY would lead to a 12,500 Dow means that a ~5.5% weakening in the dollar will spurt a 29% gain in stocks. And what’s with the upping of your Dow target throughout this thread? I’m sure by the end of the day, you’ll be saying that we should let the DXY get down to 60 because that will force the Dow up to 36,000…

    HCF

  40. HarryWanger says:

    I’m not upping my Dow target. I stick with my 11,500 Dow this year. But we’re going to see 12,500-13,000 if the dollar reaches those levels again. It’s inevitable. And no, I’m not saying let the dollar go to 60, I’m just saying we will certainly go back to 72 at some point, probably in Spring ’10 and the Dow will follow it higher. As for this year, I stick with my 11,500 Dow.

  41. HCF says:

    @Harry:

    Thanks for the clarification on the Dow target. I would say that our principle disagreements at this point are on
    1) Why the market is going up – I think it’s pure liquidity and momentum at this point, you believe it’s at least partially that fundamentals are improving
    2) Whether dollar weakness is good – You think it is, I clearly don’t…

    I still don’t see a happy ending to this, but I guess we all dance while the music is playing and Ben and Tiny Tim keep mixing the punch for us…

    HCF

  42. HarryWanger says:

    HCF: I think the dollar weakness is very good to an extent. Clearly if the dollar falls below 70, that’s not good for the US. Until then, I’ll dance to the music they’re playing until they decide to turn the lights on and take the bowl away.

  43. [...] Sometimes the stock market doesn’t care what is happening in the real economy.  (Big Picture) [...]

  44. Thor says:

    Harry – put your money where your mouth is. Tell us what you are in right now besides AAPL

  45. CNBC Sucks says:

    Hey Thor, how’s it goin’, bud? Would you please do The Great CNBC Sucks a favor and ask cvienne on Andy T’s blog (in the current thread on S&P futures) to approve my fantasy football trade from this morning?

    I do not want to start commenting on Andy T’s blog, because I have ruined Ritholtz’s blog already.

  46. HarryWanger says:

    Thor: Went long again SSO yesterday at 33 and DDM at 36.80. As I said, once the follow through to the downside didn’t happen and the dollar started its decline again, it was an easy position to take.

  47. HarryWanger says:

    CNBC: Who is Andy T???

  48. donna says:

    Oh, cmon, of course it’s gambling. Goldman Sachs is the house, duh.

  49. CNBC Sucks says:

    Andy T is — or was? — a regular poster on Ritholtz. Andy is a really smart guy on the markets, very well respected, a likeable fellow, but the man is very sneaky in fantasy football. Andy snuck off smirking thinking he had made a steal from The Great CNBC Sucks — a FF newbie — in our trade, BUT…that’s all I can really say.

    I don’t know whom I trust less in fantasy football — cvienne or Andy T.

    Harry, sorry I can’t provide you a link, because all those Ritholtz regulars are now on Andy’s blog trying to get away from you.

    @ Thor — a little help?

  50. HarryWanger says:

    CNBC: Whatever. Thanks for the info. I’ll stick with Barry, we seem to be somewhat on the same page.

  51. CNBC Sucks says:

    @ Thor

    cvienne and the gang have moved on to the “Silver” thread on Andy’s blog, which you probably already know. Can you please help me as I requested at 1:06 PM? I would not request this normally, but the waivers deadline is tonight. Thanks.

    Ritholtz, I hope you can hold on better to your regular commenters. It is very awkward to post an off-topic message on one blog to ask a guy to post an off-topic message on another blog.

  52. basinpipes says:

    It’s been like this for a quite some time now. The stock market doesn’t seem to be an indicator for the economy. Unemployment is absolutely horrific right now and the stock market keeps going up. It probably has a lot to do with the cheap money from the Fed – it gives financial institutions more incentive to gamble and speculate.

  53. Thor says:

    You’re lucky I like you so much CNBC ;-)

  54. CNBC Sucks says:

    LMAO. Thanks so much, Thor! You are a great guy, and a well-traveled one as well. I was impressed by what you wrote about the IOC decision to host the 2016 games in Rio.

    @ Harry:

    Here’s the deal. I have to ask you, why do you post so much on Ritholtz, trying to get everyone convinced things are on the way up? Why would you post on this blog, just because you are on the same page as Ritholtz? I started posting on Ritholtz because the man was / is on CNBC, and I just happen to be The Great CNBC Sucks. I like Ritholtz’s blogging style, especially in contrast to my own, but being on the same page as him has never been a priority.

    I mean, I get your drift, Harry, and everyone here knows there is no bigger Obama supporter than The Great CNBC Sucks, so I would be glad for everyone to be happy with markets moving up for the next few years. But I really would like to see some of the regulars come back and not be exasperated, frankly by you. Everyone knows Mark E. Hoffer and The Great CNBC Sucks have not always seen eye to eye, but I would be the first to admit — even in my semi-retired status — that this blog starts to lose something when he does not post.

    I don’t know what all y’all do with this, but a healthy comments section on Ritholtz is a good thing.

  55. constantnormal says:

    “Far be it from me to challenge the 2001 economics Nobel prize winner,”

    Funny … when Barry announced a little while back he was backing off a little bit in his managed accounts and picking up some short side instruments, I thought this was exactly the point he was making …

    “There’s a lot of risk going ahead of some big bumps. “

  56. constantnormal says:

    I’m certainly not questioning that markets can stay completely separated from the economic realities, and especially where there is a flood of liquidity, with not much of any place to put it (other than gold, which is also booming skyward on irrational inflation fears).

    HOWEVER, the great distance between where we are and where we would be if there were any question about the wheels coming off the cart for the US of Bananamerica surely behooves one to not let profits ride too far, periodically taking some profits and maintaining some form of “insurance”, whether that be in the form of covered call-writing, short-side instruments, and always sleeping with one eye on the ticker and one hand on the “sell button” (a.k.a. stop-loss orders). In this case “wheels coming off the cart” means Treasury rates increasing and money flowing out of stocks and into the debt markets (or someplace perceived as “safer”, like maybe gold).

    I don’t think that there is any “big risk” at all that “markets have become irrationally exuberant” — that is clearly the case. The question is when will the probability wave form collapse and bring the equities markets back into line with the economy? That is clearly an unknown and unknowable thing. So long as the punch bowl is present, party on, but don’t make any long-term plans about your portfolios, because it could all change tomorrow.

    There is not a shred of fundamental basis for valuations that we currently see, same as there was not in the dot-com bubble or any of a zillion stock bubbles in the past, other than a sea of liquidity with noplace else to go. And in the domestic US stock market’s case, that underlying liquidity rests on the shifting sands of our not-so-strong dollar. If it continues a steady measured decline, with rates near-zero, the equities markets can continue higher.

    But if it slides a little too fast and the Powers-That-Be are forced to hike rates (even a teeny bit) in order to stem the slide, then the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Or if some Black Swan — like a sudden war in the MIddle East, a terrorist strike in a major US city, a hurricane storming into NYC and disrupting the financial markets, or an asteroid or earthquake or any of a number of other unexpected “Black Swan” events is visited upon us, the markets do not have the internal strength to take the hit and bounce back — it will be a one-way trip to the bottom.

    Hence the case for caution while we party on.

    That’s how I interpret Stiglitz’s concerns.

  57. Bruce in Tn says:

    Actually Barry posted Chris Whalen’s critique of bank earnings for the 4th quarter, and his reasoning echoes some of the things already on the web. It is worth a look. He opines the rise in equities in the face of tight credit conditions in the economy is actually a bad sign. Liquidity that is available going into things that don’t require credit, e.g. equities, means the economy is actually contracting since increased credit is not being used.

    All that logical thinking has made me gassy….burp! Escuse me, now I feel better…….

  58. [...] But there have been several instances throughout history when the economy has been awful and earnings were essentially irrelevant, yet stocks still managed to rally, Big Picture blogger Barry Ritholtz notes. [...]

  59. Mark A. Sadowski says:

    “I can show you many eras in history when the economy was awful, and nonetheless markets rallied strongly.”

    And vice versa. Real GDP more than trippled (up by 247.2%) between 1929 and 1964 and yet in inflation adjusted terms the Dow Jones index went up by nada. The real economy needs the market like a cow needs a saddle.

  60. kaleberg says:

    The markets seem perfectly rational to me. When there is nothing to invest in, put your money in the stock market. If everyone else does too, you can make money. Only irrational people think that the stock market is somehow tied to the economy.

    The purpose of the stock market is to produce prices. That’s it. Of course, being able to produce a price is essential for raising capital, but raising capital is a side effect, like the fact that you can buy NYSE coffee mugs or cufflinks. I forget the number, but for every hundred dollars of stock bought and sold, perhaps a few pennies of new capital are raised.

    My father started investing in the mid-1930s, and as far as he was concerned it was one of the great bull markets. We baby boomers may be taking a bath, but our children may do just fine. Think of it as a generational transfer of wealth. That should make us feel less guilty about our Social Security checks.

  61. [...] are “Objective Reality” Barry Ritholtz succinctly makes the case for relative strength (without actually using the term relative [...]

  62. Hunter Lewis says:

    Returning for a moment to Barry Ritholtz, private investors surely suffer from animal spirits, but so do government figures, notwithstanding Keynes’s claim that they make decisions based on “long views” and “collective wisdom.” I discuss this further in my new book, Where Keynes Went Wrong. And how can markets operate rationally when governments control key prices such as interest rates and mortgage rates and currencies? Markets need real prices to tell them what is happening. Even Bernanke has this problem: he is trying to follow what is happening in markets but his own actions are making the markets impossible to read.

  63. [...] quote from our commentary yesterday: Finally, the secret of stock markets, revealed: Barry Ritholtz has the answer to the question that Nobelists, professors, economists and soothsayers have been asking for for 300 [...]

  64. [...] noted our current (bullish) posture, along with the reasons for it. Earlier this week, I noted the disconnect between the economy/markets, and I promised to explain my views in greater [...]

  65. [...] noted previously, at times, things like “valuation” or the economy or earnings don’t matter [...]

  66. [...] I want to reiterate that I do not believe that this is Mr. Market anticipating a full economic recovery (and I see Mish [...]