Barely a day goes by without reading negative headlines pertaining to the economy.
Subsequently, a ‘fear collage’ with financial headlines, like the following one – becomes effortless: “US jobless figures – The specter of a new Depression”, “A ‘V’ shape economic slump”, “The sky is falling”, “Economic recovery appears quite unlikely”, “Blood in the street”. Look, we get it. The question is – where does it all end?
Yes, we are aware that credit market issues remain a concern. Asset prices continue to fluctuate as the deleveraging process goes on. And last but not least, the macroeconomic environment is more challenging because of revised global growth. Undeniably, all true.
But while we read constantly about ‘doomsday’ scenarios and how the world is ending ; Transports have climbed more than 23% from its lows.
Over the past three weeks the stock market has risen 6.4%.
The revision forecast from The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on worlwide economic growth, recently came in to 3.8%. It recorded the lowest rate of expansion since fiscal ’02, but it’s still quite high by the standards of recent decades.
Excluding the financial sector, profits are on track to increase nearly 14% this quarter, with the energy sector leading the charge, where earnings are expected to climb more than 30% above year ago levels.
Additionally, the fiscal stimulus package, given its strong stimulative nature – will produce a fairly quick surge in personal consumption expenditures boosting the second or third quarter GDP.
Worth noting is that the bank industry is just coming off of four years of record earnings and is flush with cash, posting $1.35 trillion as of the end of fiscal ‘07 with over $12 trillion in total assets. Furthermore, on the assumption made from major financial newspapers, about banks being reluctant to lend money to one another. How can they justify an increase by more than 7% in loans on y/y basis and the fact of 6-months LIBOR rates(The London Interbank Offered Rate) coming down conspicuously to almost 100% from 04/02/2007 @ 5.32 to 04/02/2008 @ 2.67?!!
Most of these and many other facts unfortunately, go widely underreported since everyone is way too busy pointing out how depression could be imminent while insisting a recession presence ; even though the hard data relating to a U.S economy, already in contraction – is by no means conclusive.
It’s time for alarmists to drop exaggerations and hyperbolic predictions of a credit crunch that would hammer the entire economy and be objective. The pretension was wrong and is now clearly fading.
By many measures, the credit crunch has been perhaps the greatest financial challenge for the US economy. But setting this fact aside, since I believe the subprime debacle was nothing more than just a manufactured crises. We are currently in an environment where the stock market is wringing out the excessive pessimism of recent months, while pricing in a more rational and realistic view even as the journalists maintain the alarmist drumbeat.
Markets are grounded in human nature and it takes disagreement over value and price in order for it to exist. Based on this principle, I think bargains have cropped up in the markets in recent months and this is a good time to take advantage of it.