22 May 2006

Capitulation of Noted Pundits: A Momentous Event for the Economy and Financial Markets?

Safe Haven | Capitulation of Noted Pundits: A Momentous Event for the Economy and Financial Markets?: "During 1997-98, when the US stock market had exceeded all prior valuations and all historical signs of warnings were being ignored, it was clear to me that a new mood of carelessness had taken root among the America's 'educated' class; there was a widespread lack of cautious attitude; and an unhealthy lack of skepticism existed about the promoters and business leaders, including the Federal Reserve. I concluded then that whenever this ends, and it has definitely not ended yet, it would end badly. At the time I shared an insight with a colleague at Cisco stating that the worst will not come until those who are cautious and issuing warnings either capitulate or are discredited, primarily because of the length of time during which they have maintained their negativity about the future. All this is part of human nature. The past ten years, especially, in the US, have been a period of extraordinary speculation among the middle class, first in stocks and later in housing, the two largest asset classes. All indications are that speculation in housing is coming to an end, very rapidly.
It appears that we are now at a point in time when the worst that some of us doom-and-gloomers have been predicting might be near. The reason for this assessment is that something very important transpired during the past few weeks that has gone mostly un-noticed - four noted pundits, two economists and two investment gurus, employed by the most powerful and influential financial firms in America, who were cautious for a long time, capitulated.
Two of them, Rich Bernstein and David Rosenberg, work for one firm, Merrill Lynch, and their capitulation could be taken as a result of a common conclusion. The other two, Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley and Bill Gross of PIMCO, ha"

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