Ed Easterling’s 12 Rules of Market Cycles

Here are Ed Easterling’s 12 Rules of Market Cycles:

1. Secular cycles are driven by the inflation rate (deflation, price stability, and higher inflation)

2. Secular bulls occur when P/E starts low and ends high over an extended period

3. Secular bears occur when P/E starts high and ends low over an extended period

4. Cyclical bulls and bears are interim periods of directional swings within secular periods

5. Cyclical cycles are driven by market psychology, illiquidity, or other generally temporary condition(s)

6. Time is irrelevant to the length of secular stock market cycles

7. Secular bulls require a doubling or tripling of P/E

8. Secular bears occur as P/E stalls and falls by one-third to two-thirds or more

9. When real economic growth is near 3%, there is a natural floor for P/E between 5 and 10, a natural ceiling around the mid-20s, and a typical average in the mid-teens

10. If economic growth shifts upward or downward for the foreseeable future, the natural range moves upward or downward, respectively

11. Inflation drives P/Es location within the range; economic growth drives the level of the range

12. The stock market is not consistently predictable over months, quarters, or periods of a few years; the stock market is, however, quite predictable over periods approaching a decade or longer based upon starting P/E

The Dragon bubble

something to remember as you hear this idiocy about China being the most powerful country on earth…

chinadragonChina is still a poor country. Notwithstanding the complexities of measurement, income per head, according to the World Bank, is roughly $3,000, a little less than Jordan and Tunisia.

In the extreme scenario in which US income per head remains the same forever more, and China’s income per head grows by a constant 8 per cent a year, convergence would happen in 2045. But this is silly maths.

The US will not stand still and China’s economic path is likely to be punctured sooner or later by a credit or asset crisis.

Further, it cannot grow by 8 per cent a year for that much longer, not least for demographic reasons. China is the fastest-ageing nation on Earth, with an age structure rather like that of Germany.

Its labour force will begin to decline in 2010 or so and fall every year for the foreseeable future. For a while, the transfer of the 80 million rural migrant pool to higher-productivity urban jobs will mask much of this impact, but only for a few years. (more…)

Go to top