The Economist ran an article titled The market v the real economy.
« with unemployment rising from 4% to about 16%, the highest rate since records began in 1948. »
« Government-bond yields are barely positive in America. They are negative in Japan and much of Europe. You are guaranteed to lose money by holding them to maturity, and if inflation rises the losses would be painful. So stocks are appealing. »
« Bourses in Britain and continental Europe, chock-full of troubled industries like carmaking, banking and energy, have lagged behind, and there are renewed jitters over the single currency (see article) »
« In America investors have put even more faith in a tiny group of tech darlings—Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—which now make up a fifth of the S&P 500 index. There is little euphoria, just a despairing reach for the handful of businesses judged to be all-weather survivors. »
« A second hazard to reckon with is fraud. Extended booms tend to encourage shifty behaviour, and the expansion before the covid crash was the longest on record. Years of cheap money and financial engineering mean that accounting shenanigans may now be laid bare. Already there have been two notable scandals in Asia in recent weeks, at Luckin Coffee, a Chinese Starbucks wannabe, and Hin Leong, a Singaporean energy trader that has been hiding giant losses (see article). A big fraud or corporate collapse in America could rock the markets’ confidence, much as the demise of Enron shredded investors’ nerves in 2001 and Lehman Brothers led the stock market down in 2008. »