Photo: Bloomberg TV
Today I had the awesome opportunity to hang out for a few hours at The Big Picture conference hosted by Barry Ritholtz, one of the original finance bloggers.The conference hall in midtown was stacked with big names presenting (Dylan Grice, David Rosenberg, Jim Bianco, etc.) and in attendance.
Although I missed a couple of the morning sessions, it was clear what the big takeaways of the event were.
There is a lot of scepticism about this market, and a very pervasive belief that it’s all being held together by the Fed.
Almost everyone there talked about this subject.
At the end of his talk, Barry himself explained why this is one of the hardest market environments he has ever seen, in part because of the cross-signals sent by the economy and the Fed.
After lunch, David Rosenberg devoted a significant amount of his talk to how the Fed (via QE) was forcing investors into stocks.
Following Rosenberg, Jim Bianco posited that the market was falling because Romney was growing in his chances of winning, and that therefore a more hawkish Fed chief was probably on the way.
This topic also came up in Ritholtz’s Q&A, and it came up in conversations with people who were just there in attendance.
Following Bianco, technical analyst Michael Belkin called for the market to turn over right now, noting that the only bull markets that have gone on longer than this one were ones artificially juiced by the Federal Reserve.
We’ll pass for now on whether this is actually the case, but it should be noted how frequently this topic came up.