First, some humor: For those of you who missed it, we had very low inflation readings last week. Again. Where the heck is the inflation? The Federal Reserve has been shoveling reserve dollars into the financial system for 13 years and measured inflation has been falling the entire time. Why should we care about inflation? 1. It affects the stability of prices, which affects our standard of living 2. It is targeted by Fed policy in ways that dramatically affect the markets 3.
There are many signs that the current stock market is in a bubble, but calling the top is extremely difficult because of the heavy involvement of the Fed in this market cycle. In general, here are several indicators that the top is very near: 1) Extraordinarily high valuations 2) Heavy retail trading in a “new” paradigm 3) IPOs of companies with remarkably weak finances 4) Hedge funds failing with eye popping losses 5) A persistent recession or economic slowdown Long term val