Today, we had a preview of what a stock market bubble looks like………..but first lets take a trip down memory lane to the housing bubble.
The prices kept soaring and soaring with no end in sight, and no one asked why. The government thought that owning a house was great…….regardless of your financial capability. They relaxed mortgage requirements and we wound up with NINJA loans – that was a loan to a person with NO INCOME, NO JOB, AND NO ASSETS. But as they like to say on TV, wait there is more……….the mortgages were then bundled and sold as investments to banks. Shortly thereafter as people defaulted on their loans came the bank bailouts.
The price of housing no longer soared and started to decrease as the bubble burst. This snowballed as more loans defaulted. Today, after four years, we are still trying to recover from this government induced recession.
Now……….we have a glimpse of the future. The Federal Reserve Bank, under the direction of Chairman Ben Bernake, has been printing and spending money, trying to prop up our failing economy for years – currently spending $85 Billion/month buying up government securities and mortgages. In the process, interest rates were intentionally kept low, and retirees found they could no longer live on interest from their bonds. They were forced to the only thing available, the volatile stock market.
The stock market has been increasing, in spite of, not because of, the President’s economic policies. The quantitative easing and other programs initiated by the Federal Reserve Bank, and the President’s taxing programs have failed to reignite our economy.
Today, what we saw today is just a preview of the coming attractions. When Ben Bernake spoke, the market initially rose 154 points. However, when Ben said that they were reviewing their policies and procedures, no actual word that they were ending their support to the economy, just that they were looking at it, that was enough. The market dropped a total of 276 points, before it caught its breath and recovered a few points to close down 80 points from its opening..
When Chairman Bernake actually says he will stop printing, the stock market, which has been propped up by various spending programs, will experience a reversal as people move from the volitive stock market to more stable investment vehicles.
Sooner or later, next week, next month, next year, or some time in the future, the financial support to the market will cease……….and when it does, that old axiom of what goes up, must eventually come down, will apply to the stock market. Hang on because it will make the Wild Ride of Mr. Toad look like a walk in the park.
- Bob Hancock