Is a Crash Coming? Ten Reasons to Be Cautious

Written by Staff Writer on August 15th, 2010

Is a Crash Coming? Ten Reasons to Be Cautious

Could Wall Street be about to crash again?

This week’s bone-rattlers may be making you wonder.

I don’t make predictions. That’s a sucker’s game. And I’m certainly not doing so now.

But way too many people are way too complacent this summer. Here are 10 reasons to watch out.

1. The market is already expensive. Stocks are about 20 times cyclically-adjusted earnings, according to data compiled by Yale University economics professor Robert Shiller. That’s well above average, which, historically, has been about 16. This ratio has been a powerful predictor of long-term returns. Valuation is by far the most important issue for investors. If you’re getting paid well to take risks, they may make sense. But what if you’re not?

2. The Fed is getting nervous. This week it warned that the economy had weakened, and it unveiled its latest weapon in the war against deflation: using the proceeds from the sale of mortgages to buy Treasury bonds. That should drive down long-term interest rates. Great news for mortgage borrowers. But hardly something one wants to hear when the Dow Jones Industrial Average is already north of 10000.

Read more at: The Wall Street Journal

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{Photography by Davide Galli}

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