I think sometimes, with the stock market doing its best imitation of the Energizer bunny, we forget just how extraordinary are the times in which we live. We’ve been lulled to sleep by the relentless and mesmerizing march higher of stocks and all manner of risky assets. Maybe it’s just that having lived through two booms and busts already that people have come to believe that another boom in risky behavior is not just the new normal but the old one as well. And having survived the last two busts, none the wiser apparently, everyone figures we’ll survive the next one too. Maybe. Or maybe people just don’t realize how truly weird things are right now.
I’m guilty of this type of thinking too but it seems like every week I get some kind of reminder that snaps me back to reality. Last week it was an article on MarketWatch about a convicted murderer passing out investment advice while serving a 54 years to life sentence. The article detailed some of his stock picks which included a healthy dose of social media stocks and other tidbits such as his affinity for penny stocks. When the stock market mania has reached all the way to San Quentin, one can’t help but think maybe things have gotten a bit frothy. Stocks are not, as I’ve said more than a few times recently, cheap by any measure but as the market has demonstrated repeatedly in this bull phase, that is no reason prices can’t continue to go higher. The supply of greater fools however is not unlimited and at some point reality and rationality will return, likely with a vengeance.
Finding Trout In Your Milk?
“If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful.” The Danger of American Fascism, Henry A. Wallace, 1944