Displaying items by tag: bubble
Well the stock market finally stabilized yesterday with a solid rally (who knows where it will end up today), which may let many breathe a sigh of relief. However, one of the most prominent names in investing, in his typically unemotional way, says that stocks are currently very dangerous as they look like the definition of a bubble. Investors are still buying the market even though they think it is overpriced, saying Schiller. According to him, “that's almost the definition of a bubble. If you think it's overpriced but think it still has time to go, that's the definition of a bubble”.
FINSUM: So our view is that there is still a good deal to be positive about, but that if you really think we are in for a correction, then what just transpired was not nearly enough to “correct” the market.
Okay, we are calling it. Officially. While some had been holding out hope that Bitcoin might regain ground back up to its peak of around $20,000, the bottom appears to have officially fallen out. The cryptocurrency is now trading under $8,000, down around 60% since its peak. The currency continues to suffer setbacks from regulatory efforts in various jurisdictions, and it has put bears firmly in control.
FINSUM: Bitcoin and cryptos will be around for a long time, but the price discovery for a realistic level is going to be painful.
Many investors are constantly on the look out for the next bubble. Well there is a new one right before their eyes, but many are not seeing it. Leave stocks and bitcoin aside for a moment, and look at private equity. Many say the current market is just like the Dotcom bubble, with valuations way too high and way too much optimism on growth and business models. “It is quite amazing that there is no collective memory that goes beyond five years” say an Oxford professor. Part of the problem is that fundraising has been really strong, which has led to more money flowing into companies, pushing up multiples. The other is the broad availability of debt funding for buyouts, with one industry specialist saying “These are unashamedly incredibly attractive conditions to borrow money. Will that debt be available to buyers in five years’ time? Probably not. Buyout groups are bullish to take the risk in 2018. It’s a ’risk-on’ environment”.
FINSUM: Aside from the reasons cited, the valuation of the stock market is another factor that is pushing up valuations. The sector looks likely to have a reckoning.
The whole market seems to have become punch-drunk with blockchain fever. The recent cases of small companies seeing their share prices surge on the back of adding “blockchain” to their name has been well documented. Now the SEC is cracking down. Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC had this to say on the issue, amidst an even larger statement shaming the rebranding practice: “The SEC is looking closely at the disclosures of public companies that shift their business models to capitalize on the perceived promise of distributed-ledger technology and whether the disclosures comply with the securities laws, particularly in the case of an offering.”
FINSUM: The final straw seemed to be when a publicly traded company that specializes in Long Island ice teas changed its name to Long Blockchain and saw its shares skyrocket.
Some analysts are growing increasingly wary of the real estate market as valuations continue to rise higher. Now, more fringe signs that the market might be getting toppy. A new practice is being favored by Wall Street that looks like a sign of froth—so-called “drive-by” valuations. The practice involves local real estate agents driving by properties to do valuations at glance. Much cheaper than traditional appraisals, they were outlawed for use in regular mortgages after the crisis. However, at the institutional buying level, they are still allowed and thriving. The Wall Street Journal sums up the scale and shoddiness of the practice best, saying “Now these perfunctory valuations abound, underpinning tens of billions of dollars of home deals. Sometimes the process is outsourced to India, where companies charge real-estate agents a few dollars to come up with U.S. home values by consulting Google Earth and real-estate websites”.
FINSUM: This is an absolutely terrible idea, and is exactly the kind of pooling practice that leads to dangerous buildups. Foreign companies doing US home valuations with Google Earth? Sounds like a recipe for disaster.