While pundits have been throwing around the term “bubble” throughout the stock market’s climb over the past few years, Barry Ritholtz doesn’t sound concerned that we’re in one.
“It’s a bubble, it’s going to end badly, the NFP is a fraud, it’s all driven by the Federal Reserve’s irresponsible easy money policy, blah blah blah,” Ritholtz writes in a recent Bloomberg View column. “My only comment is that I can’t find a single bubble that ended with so much blather about a bubble about to end. If the crowd is right about a bubble, it might be the very first time the herd identified a bubble in real time.”
Another issue that has rattled markets but which Ritholtz isn’t worried about: Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s comment about market valuations being high. “Of all the many things I don’t care about, the Fed chief’s perspective on equity valuation tops the list,” he writes. “I don’t believe the Fed understands equity pricing or the wealth effect, and it hasn’t proven especially prescient when it comes to forecasting (though Yellen seems to be better at it than most Federal Open Market Committee members).” He adds that the irrational exuberance speech former Fed chief Alan Greenspan made in the 1990s “was 3 1/2 years ahead of the bursting of the dot-com bubble. If you or your clients were content to not participate in the 1996-2000 bull market, then you probably can afford to sit out whatever move 2015–2019 has in store for us.”