So Much for the Decoupling . . . .

Monday, January 21, 2008 | 08:27 AM

World markets are plunging in response to fears  and expectations that the United States will be (or already is) in a recession that will be both long and deep.

Headlines around the globe are rather stark:

Major Indexes Drop Sharply On Worries Over U.S. Economy (WSJ)
Europe Starts to Feel Pinch as U.S. Slowdown Spreads (Bloomberg)
Global markets plunge on U.S. recession fears (CNN/Money) 
US recession fears sink global markets (AP)

So much for that decoupling thesis.

What is rather incredible about the past few years are the number of pinheads who so totally got this wrong. Not your run of the mill idiots who insisted Housing and Credit would have no broader impact; These hacks were merely blind incompetent cheerleaders.

No, what really stunned me is the number of otherwise intelligent people who, once again, claimed "its different this time."

Its one thing to be  wrong, but its another thing to have your entire philosophical world view invalidated. That included the primacy of seeing what is going in the real world, of understanding what the official government data really means,  of not ignoring broad and deep concerns amongst the population.

Its one thing to guess a specific data point wrong -- does anyone reliable forecast NFP? However, its a horse of an entirely different color to stay wedded to a completely invalidated heuristics, or ignore economic truths with a validated and long history.

Consider these statements which we heard over the past few years:

The Yield Curve no longer matters
Earnings at an unusually high % of GDP are sustainable
The Business Cycle has been defeated
Ignore sentiment readings, the population is just upset about Iraq
Real Income gains are irrelevant
Mean reversion no longer applies
Supply side tax cuts pay for themselves
Dow Theory is a quaint antiquity
The (so-called) Fed Model "proves" equities are significantly undervalued
Despite commodity prices, there is no Inflation.

I'm sure there are more, but I'm only on my first cup of coffee.

~~~

QUESTION: What other economic statements, investing beliefs or market philosophies have been shown to be wildly false? What investing beliefs are now revealed as horrifically and expensively wrong? 

I do not mean specific calls (but this, sell that), but rather, the larger rules and strategies that are now being revealed as utterly incorrect?


What say ye?

Monday, January 21, 2008 | 08:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (230) | TrackBack (0)
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Comments

I guess this puts the nail in the coffin to the "stay fully invested in China until the Olympics" theory

Posted by: Walter | Jan 21, 2008 8:47:10 AM

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