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Monday, March 14, 2011

Real Secular Bear Markets

Another examination as to why I think the secular bear market is not done, but why I don't think it will be a 'Great Depression'-like crash from here (but why I do think a lower low in both nominal and real terms is likely before it is finished). [NOTE!: I am NOT trying to reopen the debate with checklist, just submitting another chart]. For the background on my side of the debate, see these:

-- Lessons (To Be) Learned... again. - Why secular bear markets have to run their courses, as do cyclical bulls and bears within secular bears.

-- Inflation V Deflation – Which Door Do You Pick? - List of both inflationary and deflationary pressures currently at work.

-- Inflation/Stagflation/'Flopflation' - Conditions under which prices are 'sticky' - Why I think calling what we have now 'stagflation' is misleading and will lead to the wrong conclusions. The US private sector is in a balance sheet recession. So the commodity price spikes (checklist's 'flopflation') will not stick because wages will not grow to accept them (hence commodity crashes after the spikes). ⇒ CPI is likely to be very low for the next 5-10 years. ⇒ Nominal Prices and real prices will be approximately the same for the next 5-10 years.

-- Secular Bear Market Projection in Historical Context - Current thinking regarding the 'shape' of the secular bear market.

-- Macro Thoughts and Observations. Is the Bear Market Dead? Is this the Start of a new Secular Bull Market? - Current thinking regarding the macro surrounding the secular bear market.

-- The Valuation Bottom of 2009: Rehashing the "Once in a lifetime buying opportunity" argument - While I agree with checklist's value proposition regarding the 2009 bottom, I still think there case to be made that we make a lower nominal and real low.

-- http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/the-valuation-bottom-of-2009/549216#comment553546 - Summary of the above position

-- Rebuttal to checklist :) - Rebuttal to the 'unprecedented' 3x >50% declines in a secular bear market claim.

This chart does not add much that is new to the case that I make above, but it is a nice visual that puts the previous secular bears and the current secular bear in context:

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