It's time to start the countdown to the crash of 2015-2016. No, this is not a prediction of a minor correction. Plan on a 50% or more crash.
Most investors don't want to hear the countdown, will tune it out. Basic psychology. They'll keep charging ahead with a bullish battle cry, about how the Nasdaq will keep climbing relentlessly to a new record above 5,048 ... smiling as they remember reading that a whopping 73 companies are now in the Wall Street Journal's Billion Dollar Start-up Club, with Uber ($41 billion), SpaceX ($12 billion) and Snapchat ($10 billion). Hearts race even faster reading in Bloomberg BusinessWeek that "China's IPO Boom Mints Billionaires" and Jack Ma's Alibaba fortune is now valued at $35.1 billion.
Yes, technology IPOs are in the lead, and with all that good news, it's easy to understand why investors tune out, don't want to hear the warnings, no countdown to the coming crash.
But the crash of 2015-2016 is coming. Dead ahead.
Maybe not till we get a bit closer to the presidential election cycle of 2016. But a crash is a sure bet, it's guaranteed certain: Complete with echoes of the 2008 crash, which impacted on the GOP election results, triggering a $10 trillion loss of market cap ... like the 1999 dot-com collapse, it's post-millennium loss of $8 trillion market cap, plus a 30-month recession ... moreover a lot like the 1929 crash and the long depression that followed.
Plus cycles theorists warn that we dodged a crash in 2012-2013, thanks to the Fed's stimulus and cheap-money polities. Or rather delayed it, which adds more power to the next one.
Yes, Mark Hulbert's already warned that the "stock market risk is higher today than it was in the dot-com era." Yes, a dip prior to a crash is possible. Sue Chang writes of a 10%-20% stock-market correction by July.
But we also know markets are typically up the third year of a presidency. So if no crash is in the cards this year, then why bother with warnings and a countdown? Why bother building up the 2016 elections with lots of dark early warning signs, and doom-and-gloom warnings for the next 18 months?
Why? Simple, behavioral economists have long been telling us that investors will either choose to stay in denial till it's too late, never having learned the lessons of history when the market collapsed in 2008, 2000 or 1929, when they collectively lost trillions. Or we know some investors really do want to heed the warnings, so they can plan ahead, avoid big losses, and take advantage of opportunities later, at the bottom.
Deja vu 2008: Watch another presidential hopeful collapse!
Let's compare 2015-2016 with earlier crashes: 2008 to 2000 to 1929, knowing all bulls drop into bears eventually. Basic cycles theory. And this next one will trigger losses bigger than 2000 and 2008. So bet against the house at your peril.
Jeremy Grantham's already on record predicting that "around the presidential election or soon after, the market bubble will burst, as bubbles always do, and will revert to its trend value, around half of its peak or worse."
That will translate into the DJIA crashing from today's 18,117 down 50% to about 9,000. Ouch, the Dow crashing all the way below 10,000. Unimaginable. Bulls will hate it. No wonder our brains tune out, turn off.
Deja vu 2000: irrational exuberance, dot-com technologies
Remember 1999. Just 16 years ago. Roaring hot "irrational exuberance." Renewed stock market mania. Wall Street was hot. Stocks roaring. Back then investors demanded insane annual returns during the worldwide millennium celebrations: the top 19 mutual funds had 179% to 323% annual returns.
Yes, dot-com stockholders expected 100% plus returns on zero revenues. Laughed at 30% index fund returns. Early retirement was all the buzz in barbershops and at neighborhood barbecues ... Then came the tech crash of 2000. Two wars. A 30-month recession. By 2005, global real estate was a hot new mania. Wall Street, Main Street, all addicted to the next new manias ... More is never enough. We're our own worst enemies.
Skeptics may think this is a joke. Far from it. There's a huge lesson for all investors in this victory. But we never learn. We're in denial. Repeat.
Deja vu the Crash of 1929: and the long Great Depression
"The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before including during the Great Depression and the Civil War," says Thom Hartmann." Why? "Because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted, and without them, America teeters on the verge of the next Great Crash."
Déjà vu the Crash of 2015-2016: sorry you'll never hear coming
Why won't we hear the crash? Are we all deaf? No. In fact, the warnings are always long and loud and crystal clear. So why won't most investors hear them?
The crashes will just keep coming. On March 20, 2000 we warned: "Next crash? Sorry, you'll never hear it coming." But few listened. The 1990's dot-com's mania was so blinding, it drowned out rational thinking, led to Wall Street losing $8 trillion in the 2000-2003 bear market recession. Still, nothing much has changed. Another round of warnings roared from 2004 into 2008. Few listened. Then another crash. And Wall Street lost even more, $10 trillion.
Throughout much of 2012-2013, pundits warned how bad the market really was. But in December the Wall Street Journal revealed that after 13 years in negative territory, Wall Street's "Lost Decade" (which lasted from the 2000 crash to the end of 2013), finally broke even on an inflation-adjusted basis. And investors got back into bullish feelings. And that eased the panic and bought the bulls more time.
Yikes, it took 13 long years to break even from Wall Street's losses of 2000 and 2008. And now investors are being warned that the coming Crash will be even worse, with new losses of 50% or more.
Will denying the warnings ... of the coming Crash, one that promises in the end to become bigger and badder and far more dangerous than 2008, 1999 and 1929 combined.