Economic and financial market bubbles are scary things.
Last spring, we reviewed a list of asset classes that experts considered to be in bubbles.
Did any burst?
We asked some of our favourite economists and analysts for their assessments of the world of bubbles.
Most agreed that the fear bubble in Europe finally burst.
Chris Rupkey, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi
“The European Sovereign Debt Crisis was a bubble that some people never wanted to end. The newspapers, hedge funds, fx strategists had a vested interest in keeping that fear alive. Draghi said they would do what it takes to preserve the Euro in July. Believe me it’s over. And good riddance.”
Jim O’Neill, Goldman Sachs
“People saying ‘it’s the end of EMU’ which almost felt like a bubble!”
David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors
“Short sellers of stocks in US and Europe got creamed. They are and were on the wrong side of a deflation, recession trade.”
We may have also witnessed a second tech bubble.
Diane Swonk, Mesirow
“I would say our love of IPOs was burst this year by the reality of the greed of those offering them. Individual investors need and are being much more cautious about what they buy out of the gate, knowing now that the playing field is uneven. This is tragic in some ways because it is the engine that drive new job creation in the 1990s. The reality is all that rocks our world via technology is not profitable. One would think we learned a lesson with the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000, but alas our memories are short.”
Some think bubbles are only getting bigger.
Bill Fleckenstein, Fleckenstein Capital
“There aren’t any to pop…bonds will get hammered in 2013 but they aren’t really a bubble.”
Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital
“Some [bubbles became] bigger — the bond bubble has gotten bigger. The stupidity bubble has gotten bigger. Central bank — but they will pop…”
Ultimately, it’s not so clear what’s going on with bubbles.
“I do not know of any except European football clubs,” says Jim Rogers of Rogers Holdings. “Perhaps Chinese real estate, but we do not know for sure yet. Same for US government bonds.”