It’s quite surprising that the most popular post we’ve had to date is about the possibility of a depression in 2009. I wrote that post at the end of last year, when this whole economic crisis is just getting started. Since then, the economy has steadily deteriorated. I wonder if more and more people are getting the idea that we could have another depression in the near future.
Notice that the title of today’s post is about the next depression. Many so-called financial experts on TV say, “I have never seen anything like this. We’re in uncharted waters.” This just means that they are clueless. There is nothing uncharted about depressions. In fact, a depression happens, on average, once every 80 years. There is no question that we will have another depression. The question is, will it be this year, or in another year?
Over the last few days, the stock market has rallied in a big way. Does this mean that the financial crisis is over? Absolutely not. There is nothing but bad financial news these days. And, the effects of layoffs, the falling stock market and bankrupt businesses is just beginning to have its effect. Besides that, it’s pretty obvious that the housing market will continue to fall quickly.
The chart of a stock or financial market index is nothing more than the sum of human emotion over time. Many people who think that they are financially educated, and have gone to college or sport MBAs believe that the price of the stock depends on fundamental values such as PE ratios. Although these fundamentals have some bearing on the stock price, there are other factors that are far more important. The most powerful factor that contributes to the valuation of the stock is human emotion.
Imagine a train going downhill, and the brakes are broken. How can you possibly stop it? It has so much momentum, and it’s so heavy, it is hard to imagine how much force is required to get it to stop. Our economy is quite similar. It has already generated so much momentum that it will continue to go down.
Is Obama going to be able to save us? Personally speaking, I don’t think so. However, the good news is that every individual has the power to save themselves. Each person can choose to drift along the river of financial loss, or take control of their ship and improve their financial future.
If you think this economy is all bad news, then consider this: in every economy, there are ways of making money. Here’s a recent post about some ideas about how to profit in the current falling economy.