Skip to main content

End of the global economic boom?

Dr. Marc Faber addresses this topic in a recent MoneyWeek article entitled, "Why an inflationary bust is inevitable".

Here Faber discusses the role that liquidity played in creating this boom, and the idea that slowing this liquidity growth may bring about further declines in asset markets.

Aside from the Middle East, it is apparent that liquidity conditions around the world, while still expansionary, are less expansionary than in the 1999–2005 time frame.

Now, whenever central banks create excess liquidity, symptoms of inflation will show up somewhere. Sometimes wages and consumer prices will react the most to expansionary monetary policies (for example, the 1960s and 1970s), but in today’s world where, given the low wages in China and India, an almost unlimited labour arbitrage can take place, easy monetary policies drive asset prices such as homes, commodities, equities, art, and so on, higher, while wages and consumer prices rise only with a lengthy time lag (once commodity prices begin to be passed on in the prices of finished manufactured goods).

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, when liquidity growth is slowing down, asset prices begin to cave in first.

I'm looking on and Faber admits to shifting his views a bit, at least with respect to the scenarios he has outlined in recent writings. This will require a careful read:

But, as I have repeatedly pointed out, it usually pays to listen to the market. And in this respect, we should take rather seriously the sharp break in equity and commodity prices, as well as in some of the emerging market currencies, that we experienced in the second half of May. The break may prove to be only of very brief duration with new highs to follow, but the impulsive nature of the break suggests differently — at least for now.

Naturally, investors will immediately ask why stocks and commodities should sell off when we are in the midst of a global synchronised economic expansion, when corporate profits are still expanding. The point is that, precisely because we are in a global boom, liquidity is likely to become tighter for a while and that, as just outlined, in such an environment equities and other asset prices are vulnerable until liquidity conditions improve once again.

But don't go by my selective quoting; to appreciate the full range of Faber's reasoning, make sure to read the full article for yourself.

Popular posts from this blog

Seth Klarman: Margin of Safety (pdf)

Welcome, readers! Signup for free email updates at the Finance Trends Newsletter . Update: PDF links removed due to DMCA notice. Please see our extensive Klarman book notes below. New visitors, please check the Finance Trends home page for all new posts. Here's something for anyone who has been trying to get a look at Seth Klarman's now famous, and out of print, 1991 investment book, Margin of Safety .  My knowledge of value investing is pretty much limited to what I've read in Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor (the book which originally popularized the investment concept of a "Margin of Safety"), so check out the wisdom from Seth Klarman and other investing greats in our related posts below. You can also go straight to Ronald Redfield's Margin of Safety book notes .    Related posts: 1. Seth Klarman interviews and Margin of Safety notes     2. Seth Klarman: Lessons from 2008 3. Investing Lessons from Sir John Templeton 4.

Slate profiles Victor Niederhoffer

Slate's recent profile of writer/speculator, Vic Niederhoffer has been getting some attention from traders and finance types in recent days. I thought we'd take a look at it here too, to offer up some possible educational value from Vic's experiences with trading and loss. Here's an excerpt from Slate's profile of Victor Niederhoffer : " I've enjoyed getting your e-mails. It sounds like you've thought a lot about being wrong. Well, the reason you contacted me, to call a spade a spade, is that I'm sort of infamous for having made a big, notorious, terrible error not once but twice in my market career. Let's talk about those errors. The first was your investment in the Thai baht, which pretty much wiped you out when the Thai stock market crashed in 1997. I made so many errors there it's pathetic. I made one of my favorite errors: "The mouse with one hole is quickly cornered." That is key. There are certain decisions you make in li

Clean Money - John Rubino: Book review

Clean Money by John Rubino 274 pages. Hoboken, New Jersey John Wiley & Sons. 2009. 1st Edition. The bouyant stock market environment of the past several years is gone, and the financial wreckage of 2008 is still sharp in our minds as a new year starts to unfold. Given the recent across-the-board-declines in global stock markets (and most asset classes) that have left many investors shell-shocked, you might wonder if there is any good reason to consider the merits of a hot new investment theme, such as clean energy. However, we shouldn't be too hasty to write off all future stock investments. After all, the market declines of 2008 may continue into 2009, but they may also leave interesting investment opportunities in their wake. Which brings us to the subject of this review. John Rubino, author and editor of GreenStockInvesting.com , recently released a new book on renewable energy and clean-tech investing entitled, Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green Tech Boom . In Clean