Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Market Outlook

Paul Kedrosky has a wonderful link to interview of Michael Steinhardt and others. There are a lot of quotation gems in there. I paraphrase a few ideas with my take on it:
  • No one is bullish over long-term: The problems we are in, in US and globally, are too big to be wiped out by a ill-directed few trillion dollar stimulus. Government does not have information to go for precision-bombing stimulus. So for carpet bombing, that we are aiming for, we need a hell lot more bombs.
  • What has changed? - Nothing: Other than extra few trillion sloshing around nothing has changed. We still seem to be playing out the same moves from great depression times. Our two most likely outcomes are a bloody great depression or a prolonged stagnation - both are grim. Markets are enforcing themselves - I mean real economy markets. Consumers are de-leveraging and increasing savings.
  • We cannot estimate valuation because future is uncertain: The future is uncertain. We are not confidently able to foresee how future corporate world will look like. What will be the revenue levels? What will be the growth levels? Who will survive the crisis? In such a scenario, putting numbers to revenue projection and looking at valuation is dangerous game.
  • A forecast tells more about the forecaster than the future: This is a gem. I think that is true. At the moment all analysts will be better off understanding potentially likely scenarios and potential outcomes.