The Rich Man’s Bubble is popping and no one gives a f***
- Joshua M Brown
- April 25th, 2014
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the prices for startups, venture funds, luxury San Fran / NYC / Hamptons real estate, atrocious contemporary art, tech momentum stocks, the Nasdaq, the Russell 2000 and “cloud plays” have peaked for the cycle. Let’s also say – again for argument’s sake because who really knows – that a lot of money gets lost as a result.
What is the societal impact of the art market collapsing in on itself (as it always does once stocks stop rising)?
What happens to the actual economy if Twitter can’t get back over the IPO print?
What’s the effect on the nation if the Sand Hill Road Maserati dealership wait-list drops back down to 6 months from 10?
I’m going to go ahead and say none. Zero impact.
How do I know?
Because if the inflation of a bubble hasn’t benefited anyone on the way up, how widely can its deflation be felt?
No one else is playing. No one’s in except the 1% and the benefits have largely accrued to the .1% or the .01% anyway.
Unlike the dot com bubble and the housing / credit bubble, this time around there was such exclusivity on the way up that it almost doesn’t matter. Almost nobody got hired as a result of the Rich Man’s Bubble, almost no one got a raise either. In 2000, everyone was daytrading. Not today. In 2006, everyone was financing everything in sight and acquiring homes. Not today.
All we got this time around was a lot of cheap web storage somewhere in the ether, a half-dozen useful (free) apps and a handful of nephews and son-in-laws who were momentarily billionaires on paper. Big f***ing deal.
That the enormous prosperity of the new bubble wasn’t spilling over to 99% of the nation was largely seen as a curse. Maybe now it’ll be seen as a blessing in disguise.
To those who have been playing, I’m sure you’ve done well enough by now anyway. It’s okay.
Sorry if you missed your IPO window. Don’t worry, we’ll blow up another one of these bad boys soon enough.
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The Reformed Broker is a blog about financial markets and the economy. Joshua Brown is a New York City-based investment advisor for high net worth individuals, charitable foundations, retirement plans and corporations... More.