Just News – Zero Hedge – James Montier: This Is A “Greater Fool Bubble” And I’m Getting Out

Zero Hedge – James Montier: This Is A “Greater Fool Bubble” And I’m Getting Out
How does one explain the existence of this particular “greedy bear”? To Montier the cognitive dissonance noted above is a function of the Fed-reflated bubble the US finds itself in: the near rational – or cynical – bubble, also known as the greater fool bubble. Here’s Montier:
I am not a great fan of this nomenclature as it suggests a veneer of respectability that I find undeserved. To me these are really better described as greater fool markets. They are cynical bubbles in that those buying the asset in question don’t really believe they are buying at fair price (or intrinsic value), but rather are buying because they want to sell to someone else at an even higher price before the bubble bursts. Chuck Prince, the former CEO of Citibank, aptly demonstrated the typical cynical bubble mentality when in July of 2007 he uttered those fateful words, “As long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We are still dancing.”
If the presence of the proposed buyer of last resort rings a bell, it’s because that’s precisely the market environment the Fed has created: there is no longer any risk not because fundamentals are strong or the economy is improving, but because the Fed will always step in and rescue the market when things turn south. Montier agrees:
I would suggest that this is exactly the sort of market we are observing at the current juncture. Fund managers for the most part all agree that the US market is expensive but still they choose to own equities – a cynical career-risk-driven position if ever there was one. I have been amazed by the number of meetings I’ve had recently where investors have said they simply “have to own US equities.”
While such a bubble can make speculators extremely wealthy if only for a period of time – because putting money into what everyone knows is a ridiculous valuation is not investing, it’s speculation, and as Montier admits “that the US equity market is obscenely overvalued can hardly be news to anyone” – it only works as long as there is at least one more greater fool to sell to.

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