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Five "Interesting" Financial Tidbits

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.

Is that a red flashing light on the control panel of “the man behind the curtain”?

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Among the many “interesting” (a safe word to use in perilous times) signs and portents swirling around us, here are five financial tidbits “of interest.” What do they mean? The answer is of course nothing. There are many “interesting” things with no discernible meaning. Being “interesting” is enough.

1. Just like in 2000, proponents claim “this time it’s different.” Back then, the claim was that since the Internet would be growing for decades, dot-com stocks could go to the moon and beyond.

The claim the the Internet would continue growing was sound, but the prediction that this growth would drive stock valuations into a never-ending bubble was unsound.

Once again we hear reasonable-sounding claims being used to support predictions of a never-ending rise in stock valuations. Some observers find this “interesting.”

2. Similarity in 2000/2021 stock charts. Technical analyst Sven Henrich posted charts of Cisco Systems in early 2000 and Tesla in early 2021: Clear and Present Danger. The similarity is, well, “interesting.”

3. Similarity in 2000/2021 NASDAQ volume spikes. Technical analyst Tom McClellan posted a chart of NASDAQ volume in a ratio with New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) volume. Extreme Point for Nasdaq Volume. Notice the recent spike into dot-com era territory. Hmm, “interesting.”

4. Financial assets as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) hit an all-time extreme. Note that in the “Glorious Thirty” postwar years (1946-1975) of broad-based prosperity, financial assets were around three times GDP. Now financial assets are over six time the GDP.

This ratio increased with every one of the three bubbles since the mid-1990s: the dot-com bubble in 1999-2000, the Global Financial Meltdown in 2008-09 and now the bubble of 2020-21. That financial assets are now six times the size of the “real economy” (GDP) is an “interesting” data point

5. Despite assurances that “this time it’s different,” all speculative bubbles pop because they are based in human emotions. We attempt to rationalize the bubble by invoking the real world, but bubbles are manifestations of human emotions and the feedback of being in a herd of social animals. I’m not sure if this even qualifies as “interesting” or not; perhaps it’s too “obvious” to be “interesting.”

Is that a red flashing light on the control panel of the man behind the curtain?Probably nothing, pay no attention….

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Wall Street Examiner Disclosure: Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler, unless authored by me, under my byline. I curate posts here on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. No endorsement of such content is either expressed or implied by posting the content. All items published here are matters of information and opinion, and are neither intended as, nor should you construe it as, individual investment advice. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of information providers, or considering any investment.

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