Sunday, March 16, 2014

When the dust settles over Ukraine...

I particularly liked the following synopsis of last week from New Ark Investment's Jeff Miller's Weighing the Week Ahead column:
As predicted, there were many articles of the laundry list type. That is where the pundit or journalist starts with a scary theme that can be expected to be popular and then looks back to find some similarities with the past. What a joke! Suppose you had a group of summer interns. Ask them to take any year in history and read newspapers, listing anything that is similar to current times. They will deliver.

Most people have a low bar for research findings, particularly when it suits their own conclusions.

This morning I found myself pondering the Ukraine situation, thinking back to periods past that reminded me of the present, thinking maybe there's some parallel to be drawn that I can use to help you shape your short-term expectations. And while a number of past events indeed came to mind, I couldn't bring myself to even begin to offer up some would be facsimile in the pretense that because the market reacted a certain way in the past, that it is about to act that way again. I would be contradicting statements I've made here countless times. Statements like: anyone who professes to know the future—of the economy or the financial markets—should indeed be committed. There are simply too many (uncountable even) moving parts—far too many dots to connect. Jeff is spot on: pundits tend to cite the history that best supports their own conclusions.

That said, without citing any history, I'll offer up my own conclusion: I believe that when the dust settles over Ukraine, the powers that be will have ultimately bowed, without admission of course, to global market forces. What the stock market does along the way is anybody's guess...

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