We can now safely state the current environment is the biggest stock market mania in history, cautions Alan Newman, editor of CrossCurrents.
The current mania is bigger than even the Roaring Twenties that ended in the Great Depression of 1929-1932, and yes, even bigger than the fantastic tech mania that gripped the nation into the March 2000 peak.
We can make this claim based on valuation measures such as Robert Shiller’s CAPE (cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio), now at 33.77, the second highest in history, and the S&P 500 P/E ratio at 37.38, also the second highest in history. (In this case, we are ignoring the huge spike in the P/E that occurred in 2008 as earnings contracted precipitously.)
Neither the Roaring Twenties nor the fantastic tech mania can even remotely match the longevity of this period, despite the sudden and remarkable 27 session 38% collapse that began in February.
Deer frozen in their tracks are usually roadkill an instant later. While the February crash fits the definition of a bear market, any deer caught in those headlights are now comfortably ahead only months later. This was certainly not a typical year!
Robinhood may be the best sign ever of a manic top. Their link to “Our Customers,” shows testimonials from mostly twenty-somethings — people with little market experience and certainly almost no knowledge of the two bear markets of 2000-2002 and 2007-2009, wherein stock prices were cut in half.
Net liquidity continues to slide to a more precarious state every month. The last two overly enthusiastic periods ending in 2000 and 2007 were both followed by the worst bear markets in decades, both down 50% from their peak. We are certain that a replay will occur. In my view, there is zero upside value in stocks.