Displaying items by tag: dotcom
One of the largest asset managers in the world made a potentially very worrying claim today: that ESG today is a lot like the tech bubble was in year 2000. The sovereign wealth fund of Norway’s CEO, Nicolai Tangen, says that much like dotcom stocks, ESG asset are trading at very frothy valuations. What is interesting about his claim, though, is that he is not focused on the potential “bubble”, but rather on what those valuations mean. “What is interesting is, if you compare the situation now with, for example, the situation before the year 2000, then the stock market was right that technology companies were going to do well in the future … But the valuation went a little high, so it came down again, but the technological development continued, said Tangen. He continued, “We may see something of the same sort now, that what is happening in the green shift is extremely important and real”.
FINSUM: So Tangen is saying there is a big bubble in ESG, but in the way only an ultra-long-term investor like a sovereign wealth fund can, he is focused on how the market is “right” about its long-term potential.
There has been a lot of speculation over the last month about whether the market is in a bubble. The reason for this are numerous: the huge run up in large cap growth stocks, the meme stock frenzy and beyond. However, the answer to whether the market is in a bubble can be found in a recent study and paper by Harvard. Researchers from the university outlined what bubbles really are, and clearly show that by historical standards there is only one sector of the market currently in a bubble: the S&P 500 Technology Hardware, Storage & Peripherals index, which does include Apple. However, no other sectors, nor the S&P 500 itself could be considered to be in a bubble. In fact, it is quite rare for the market as a whole to be in a bubble. Rather, market bubbles are usually constrained to a small handful of sectors. This could be seen in what is considered to be one of the biggest of all time—the Dotcom bubble. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, tech stocks surged to extraordinary valuations, while many sectors, like value stocks, lagged. When the bubble burst, many sectors actually benefitted (like value stocks).
FINSUM: This history is quite useful for context, but as our readers know, we feel each market cycle is unique and thus historical insight can only take you so far. In this instance, we think it is important to take into consideration that bonds are yielding very little, meaning there is no good alternative to equities. We believe this situation—which is obviously created/supported by the Fed and government—will help continue to lift equities.
The last couple of trading days have thrown cold water on that bullish trend that sent the market soaring all April. Weak earnings and huge job losses took their toll, and the reality of a slow-slog recovery are weighing on markets. With that in mind, a former Goldman Sachs fund manager, Will Meade, says that stocks are going to fall another 40% from here. Meade argues that this year will be just like the 2000 dotcom bubble: “The Nasdaq in 2000 did a similar bear market bounce as stocks this year — dropped 40%, then bounced 42% off the bottom retracing 61.8% of its drop. It stalled then fell 43%, making a new low four months later,”. Similar to 2000 is that fact that there is additional uncertainty this year created by the election.
FINSUM: This is far from implausible. As the reality of how hard this recovery might be sets in, markets may completely abandon their exuberance.
One of the world’s most respected financial columnists—John Authers—has just put out an article arguing that we may be at the bond market’s Dotcom moment. Authers cites the gigantic hoard of negative yielding debt, as well as many charts of soaring 100-year bond prices (check out Austria’s and Mexico’s), to show that the bond melt up may be set to reverse. He argues that at some point soon (it could have already started with the reversal in ten-years yesterday) that investors will revolt against super-low yields, sending prices lower and yields higher. Authers thinks the spark may be unexpectedly higher inflation, which would undermine the whole premise of recent gains. Tariffs are inflationary by definition, so it is not far-fetched to think this could occur.
FINSUM: We think it would take a significant catalyst to cause a big bond pullback (like a much higher than expected inflation report, a suddenly hawkish Fed etc). That is not out of the question, but it does not seem likely.
Losses on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are reaching legendary proportions. Total losses on Bitcoin are now around 70% since its peak last December. The loss brings it close to the 78% decline in the Nasdaq seen during the Dotcom bubble. Many other coins have gone to essentially zero.
FINSUM: The Dotcom bubble is an interesting comparison. The reason why is that though prices were far too high, the market did call correctly that the internet would be hugely disruptive to industry and create very valuable businesses. Will the same happen with crypto, but ten years down the line?