It was 27 years ago last week that the market hit its bottom in the 1981-1982 bear market. That market had seen stock prices fall to rock bottom valuations and yet, no one wanted to own stocks that summer. To think, Philip Morris at 6 times earnings and yielding 8%. The environment then was horrendous. Interest rates on long-term Treasury bonds were still at 12%, down from 15% in late 1981. The prime rate had fallen to 17% from over 20%. If you wanted a mortgage loan, you had to pay 18% or better. Unemployment was over 10.5% and still rising. Business Week magazine argued that stocks were dead. That was the bottom of a life time, unless you managed to live long enough to see the low earlier this year. Read more
Ready For Good Times?
Our great nation is on the verge of another great wave of growth. It may not come rapidly or at the exact time we may expect it, but it is coming. Why? Because we have all the ingredients we need to get lots of economic growth. Interest rates are low. There is lots of money flowing around. We have lots of unused capacity in labor and capital markets. Many cyclical industries are operating at minimal operating levels (so any increase in demand translates into marked growth). We have a consumer who has dramatically reduced consumption. Inflation is virtually non-existent, outside periodic bouts of commodity-driven price increases. And, the government has a program to pump money into the economy and create make-work jobs. There should be no question we are going to have a recovery. The only question is how powerful it is likely to be. Read more