The markets have been through a volatile COVID period with wild swings, a bear market and a bull market. Here is a helicopter view - lots of charts. What will we see with our fresh eyes?
I don’t mean to alarm you, but according to a lot of commentators, the world is on the brink of a major crisis. No, not some highly-contagious and deadly virus. Apparently, we’re on the brink of witnessing the collapse of the global monetary system.
Another month has passed us by and with it half the year has gone. Back in 2019, it was observable that USA equity markets had worked their way to a point where they were the most richly-valued in history. And then along came Covid-19.
Its fair to say that Covid-19 was genuinely unexpected. A “Black-Swan Event”. We have spent the last 3 months trying to understand what the financial ramifications of this event will be. We haven’t seen anything like this before – the complete shuttering of large parts of the global economy.
Valuations in key developed nation markets, such as the US, remain among the highest ever recorded whilst economic readings are among the worst ever recorded. True, the stock market is not the economy but given companies derive their value from the earnings they derive from the economy, there’s a strong correlation between economic performance and stock market performance. Make no mistake – the chasm between share markets and the economy will close in time.
As humans, we crave to understand things. It’s part of our survival instinct. We don’t cope very well with not understanding something and our minds have a way of spontaneously generating plausible explanations – “jumping to conclusions”. At the point we feel we understand something, our brain releases hormones that make us feel good.
So, how are we explaining the current market environment? There’s generally a “narrative” – a logical explanation as to why whatever is happening is actually happening.
The title for this piece comes from one of the popular narratives at the moment in order to explain things.