Beware the Bear Rally
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Economic devastation will not heal itself in months or quarters and disappear, even if the virus does. The implications of bankruptcy and joblessness and a host of other financial, psychological, and societal issues dictate the path going forward.
On April 29, 2020, Fed Chairman Powell admitted this when he said, "both the depth and duration of the economic downturn are extraordinarily uncertain."
I am often critical of Federal Reserve policy and contradictory economic jargon coming from Fed presidents and governors. However, to my amazement, Powell surprised me with a moment of clarity.
No truer words have ever been spoken.
His statement is so obvious, it is profound. Yet, if you only follow the financial media or much of social media, you might think his statement hyperbolic. Apparently, the future, according to so many “experts,” is certain.
The economy will gradually re-open and, in time, everyone will go back to work and resume the same lives and consumption patterns they were leading in 2019.
This reassuring picture of economic resurgence and a return to normal is a matter of harnessing the virus. I too hope the confidence exuding from the experts being paraded around the clock on CNBC and Bloomberg turns out to be correct.
Wealth is not built, accumulated, or retained on hope. It is built on analytical rigor and a strong knowledge of data, facts, and history. It is built by avoiding debilitating losses, and by thinking for yourself.