Blackrock was very bearish about the stock markets earlier this week. ‘Well I don’t know about Blackrock, but I’ve been counting signs since last October – and they all say The Top Is Coming’ was my response in yesterday’s Slogpiece about – among other things – idiots buying Greek shares “because they’re cheap”. As the week unfolds, opinion leaders are lining up to warn the greedy that it’s time to move out.
“A bull market is like sex. It feels best just before it ends,” Barton Biggs apparently said. Guru Joshua M. Brown says in his latest newsletter that ‘Facebook at 70, Tesla at 200, Netflix at 450, Google at 1200, it’s all of a piece’. And just as the saps think that if they don’t buy into ClubMed now they’ll be left behind, so the New Biggest Thing on Wall Street is that Old Dotcom Black Magic: buying into companies that have rarely if ever made a profit.
Jeff Mortimer of BNY Mellon Wealth Management has been pointing out this lunacy at Bloomberg:
‘Unprofitable companies such as Zynga Inc. and FireEye Inc. are leading gains in the Russell 1000 Index. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index is up 25 percent in the past 10 weeks, the most since February 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Less than a third of its 122 companies earned any money in the last 12 months. Marijuana shares, which trade on venues with less stringent reporting requirements, are among the most active.In this backdrop of human emotions, which begins to take over, it’s one of greed, it’s one of being willing to pay for something that will happen in the future, and being afraid that one might be left behind.’
But you see, in an investment Universe where everyone has at some point rubbished e = mc2, fear of not getting onto the bandwagon with the other lucky suckers vastly outweighs an analysis of the fundamentals. In the end, markets are just crowds. Crowds are rarely wise, especially when testosterone and coke are zapping from heart via brain to crotch.
And don’t forget: it’s not just no profits yet bollocks out there. We have heard, over the last four years, an equal amount of bollocks from both Labour and Tory politicians about how one day we were all going to make a bundle out of RBS once Hannibal Heston had sorted it all out. Today’s Telegraph finance page offers a slight change in tone re this one:
Ah well, that’s a bit more to add to the National Debt. But it isn’t holding the Great Fraudster back in his career: now boss at RSA, Hest the Pest is to bolster its capital by between £1.5-1.6bn over the next three years…using a £775m discounted rights issue and the cancellation of the final dividend for 2013 in order to do it.
What a star, eh? And he’s still at the jam tomorrow scam: “….the amount raised through a series of “self help” measures – including disposals, cost cutting and job cuts – could raise a similar amount over the next three years..” Er, yes Stephen, of course it might.
So the Fed tapers without actually tapering, and the emerging markets feel the pinch. But those clamouring to get into such markets are taking some hotheaded positions. The UK’s “real recovery” skitters about like a mirage on amphetamines, but the Ftse continues to climb. ClubMed shows not one solitary sign of fundamental, unmanipulated recovery….but because bond yields have been manipulated down, silly money piles in: and its bourses start to race ahead because “if it’s at the bottom, the only way is up”. Across the Pond, companies with potty business models, bonkers PE ratios, and no profit record to speak of heat up….and everyone wants to get on board. And ooh look, the worst is over, except that RBS just, um, lost all our money. Yes, all of it.
We are heading into a confluence of tits-up tributaries: these are gushing into the still waters of Golden Pond, at the end of which is the Bernanke Boulder Dam. When the dam bursts, nine years of jerry-built reinforcement will stand for nothing. This is going to be Crash2….a crash to make Crash1 look like a harmless skid by comparison.