Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Where Are We Again In This Financial Crisis & Recovery?
I have posted this chart before from Paul Kedrosky's excellent site. As the chart only looks at the recovery from the aligned lows of each crisis, the first year's recovery was most pronounced, and as usual when it recovers the naysayers during each of these periods were vocal. What is more significant is that the recovery carried on into the second year just by looking at the various charts - and that to the naysayers would be unthinkable at the moment. Markets have a nice way of shocking us - are we all drilled to look at the wrong indicators? I am still thinking 10,800 to 11,000 is easy for the Dow by year end. I would term the most appropriate indicators for each of these crisis were:
a) how much cash was thrown into the system - this crisis wins it hands down
b) how widespread / global were the effects - looks about the same for all except the depression
c) how concerted was the global effort - this crisis wins hands down again
d) how did interest rates behave or were managed - the tech crisis saw Greenspan dropping rates quicker than a bullet (and was the start of the financial mayhem in properties, packaged loans, and the leveraged derivatives on those assets); this time, most of the global central banks are still keeping rates very low coupled with massive stimulus left, right and center.
As argued before, its not that the central banks want rates to be low as that will fuel the property side for the less affected countries, and indirectly push liquidity into stocks when risk aversion mood drops - but its for the greater good because corporate spending, hiring, investments in R&D are not recovering fast enough. Hence they all will tolerate a seemingly higher and hard to justify stock market valuations for the sake of the real economy. The real economy is expected to catch up to equity valuations, maybe they will, maybe they won't. But when you keep rates low enough and you have glimmers of recovery, that will set the momentum.
Are we putting ourselves into another bubble, ... yes... but this one will last some time yet. Its the making of a bubble, we are nowhere near boiling point yet.