Fantasy Stocks for a Fantasy Market

By Doug French, Casey Research. Originally published at Testosterone Pit.

They don’t ring bells at the top, but when a company called Fantex Holdings plans to sell shares in professional athletes and possibly actors and musicians, a chill should race up the spine of investors.

You know this isn’t your grandfather’s market when a company pushing chicken wings (Buffalo Wild Wings) sells at over 40 times earnings. And when a company that dominates retail but doesn’t make any money (Amazon) trades for $350 a share. And when a company that pumps old movies, TV shows, and a sliver of new content to subscribers trades at 280 times earnings (Netflix).

Let’s just say that American industry ain’t what it used to be.

“As General Motors goes, so goes the nation,” was relevant a long time ago. Today’s nation is gaga for something different: fantasy football. Adults lining up players against each other like toy soldiers is a billion-dollar business for the companies facilitating the fun and games.

Bloomberg reports: “About 25.1 million people play fantasy football in the U.S.… About $3.38 billion is spent annually in the U.S. on fantasy sports… [T]hree-quarters of that, or about $2.54 billion, is spent on football.”

With all of this fantasizing, Wall Street doesn’t want to be left out of the money. Fantex Holdings intended to sell an IPO of Houston Texan running back Arian Foster until he was injured. The plan was to market 1.06 million shares of Foster stock at $10 a share. The shares would trade on a Fantex exchange, and the company believes the shares would track Mr. Foster’s future brand income, including his playing contract, corporate endorsements, and appearance fees.

Investors would be one hit away from losing all or most of their money. Luckily for them, Arian Foster’s season-ending injury happened prior to the floating of his stock. However, as Peter Lattman and Steve Eder write for the New York Times:

“Risks aside, the offering is intended to capitalize on the mammoth popularity of the National Football League and fantasy football, where fans draft players and score points for touchdowns, yardage and other notable plays during the season.

If thousands of fans are willing to pay as much as $250 for an Arian Foster jersey, the thinking goes, why wouldn’t they pay up for a few shares of Arian Foster stock?”

Wondering what Foster was to get out of this? $10 million, in exchange for 20% of his future income. Shareholders wouldn’t have a direct claim on Foster’s income or control of his brand: Fantex would. Theoretically the better Foster does, the better his stock would do. Fantex said it anticipated paying a dividend.

Aswath Damodaran, NYU professor of finance, blogged at Musings on Markets that a portion of Fantex’s 20% percent claim on Foster’s income “will be set aside to cover the expenses associated with managing and maintaining the Fantex platform.” Also, “Fantex views its role as not just a contractual intermediary but also as a brand building organization. Effectively, that implies that Fantex can and will use some of the Foster income to market him better (and hopefully increase endorsement income).”

Using some very rosy assumptions about Foster’s career—like that the running back will play until he’s 36 years old—Damodaran calculated the present value of 20% of Foster’s future cash flows to be $10 million, before expenses and injury risk. Once he factors those in, Damodaran says the value of the Foster claims are $5.07 million. He admits that Mr. Foster is definitely getting the better part of the deal.

San Francisco 49er tight end Vernon Davis was the second player signed by Fantex; he promptly left last week’s game with a concussion. Fantex intends to buy 10% of Mr. Davis’ future earnings for $4 million. The company will sell shares to investors in a tracking stock linked to the tight end’s economic performance, which includes the value of playing contracts, corporate endorsements, and appearance fees.

More Bubbly Signs

This all sounds newfangled, but it’s been done before. In its April 2000 edition, the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast wrote:

“Another indication that a historic extreme has reached its zenith is that in recent months, even individuals have become brands. A number of them, including Dick Clark, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart and C. Everett Koop, have become publicly traded companies. All are down substantially from their close on their first day of trading, but the effort literally to buy heroes continues to spread. The latest development is at the venture capital level, where numerous promoters are busily launching Internet investment funds with superstar athletes because ‘athletes have tremendous brand presence.'”

A bear market had actually begun a few days before.

John Hussman calls the current market “a textbook pre-crash bubble.” He cites a Schiller P/E above 25, that the median-stock-price-to-revenue ratio is at a record high, and that the market-cap-to-GDP ratio is approaching an all-time high. Margin debt is also at an all-time high of 2.2% of GDP, and the “this time is different” narrative is back.

As crazy as the market is, the folks at Cantor Gaming want to make the investment world even wilder. The Wall Street Journal reported last month: “The company pushed Nevada legislators this year to let investment funds bet on sports. It said this would widen the ways investors such as hedge funds could diversify.”

The bill didn’t pass this session. In the future, who knows? If the bull market keeps charging ahead, investors may be able to own shares in their favorite fantasy players, while their mutual funds “invest” in wagers on the games’ outcomes.

Makes getting down a bet with the corner bookie look very tame.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. John Jones

    Interesting article.

    I had no idea that Amazon doesn’t make any money.
    As for having shares in professional athletes and possibly actors and musicians all that sounds very sick to me.

  2. Skeptic

    One of the great advertisers of the Sportz Industrial Complex are the running shoe companies, nameless here, why shill for them? I’m sure Adrian Foster, Vince Young etc are very familiar with them. These companies fuel the mindless Sportz of our age and the Fantasies of the fans.

    Like many things modern, running shoes were developed and hyped to improve upon the performance of the human foot, to do better than God. More God’s Work and we all know what that means. Not necessarily better but certainly expensive, wasteful and deceptive.

    Christopher McDougall wrote a most interesting book about all this called BORN TO RUN. It has much commonality with the NC view of the Financial World, that is that much of Finance is fraudlent and unnecessary. Thus, McDougall contends that the running shoe is basically a fraud, unnecessary and may even damage one’s feet. He offers proof of this. For runners, this is a perfect way to disattach from the corporate world and starve the running shoe beasts. You can try it out for $0. Just be sure you have smooth ground with no obstructions on it. For somewhat rougher ground, a pair of cheap beach slippers will do.

    As a jogger myself, I first listened to this book on my morning jogs. As I did, I became more and more excited by the common sense and logic of the book. Soon, I myself tried barefoot running. What a marvelous experience it was and still is, when winter is not here.

    To put this then in NC economic terms: Runners unite, you have nothing to lose but your running shoes.

      1. Tom Parsons

        I tried almost-barefoot running years ago, and it was great for me in all the ways the enthusiasts say. But come winter and slippery clay slopes, my soft, light “Beach Feet” would lose traction. At first I proudly learned to skid and dance. But more than once this ended in both-feet slips on the downhills when I got going too fast. The very painful and slow-to-heal shoulder damage from stupidly catching myself and getting the arm twisted behind me as I fell put me back in shoes with some traction.

        I was fantasizing about my ability to avoid falls, then about my ability to catch myself one-handed when I lost footing (hey, it worked once!), then about my ability to restrain this dumb reflex.

        Sorta like those who play fantasy markets. This time I’ll be reeeely careful. Won’t get fooled again!

        1. skippy

          Ha… that will learn you to conceptualize in real time… snicker. Bitumen – free running – is where you take on the universe, transition from years of running in jungle boots helps.

          skippy… shedding is a long and funky process tho… hay honey can you help me~

  3. craazyman

    this could be the right time to get rich quick! the problem is option premiums are so high you might lose everything even though you’re almost right. or if you just go short, you might have to cover if the market has one more spike up. or if you go long volatility, you might lose 30% of your money in 2 days. It’s not easy. You need a backstop, like the Fed, to cover your losses until you hit the big one. Then you go long at the bottom and make twice as much, while the rest of us are broke from covering shorts or seeing worthless options expire out of the money.

    How about fantasy stocks on banksters? let’s say there’s some 34 year old woman exec at a Too Big to Jail global bank and she goes to lunches and wears Hermes scarfs and jewels while she eats and talks. That should go for $50 million at least. If she gets the Fed Bailout and her bonus skyrockets, at least you get a piece of the action. If she does the Playboy Centerfold with a jewel encrusted Hermes saddle in the background, then you can retire. What’s not to like?

    1. craazyboy

      The way I see it, the only thing better than buying a growth stock with a PE of 40 (discounting a high growth infinite horizon future earnings stream) is buying a momentum stock. And what better momentum stock could there be but a star NFL running back?

      It’s a no-brainer!

      1. craazyman

        I was looking at CTRP at 20 back in May but didn’t buy it. Then it went to 60 in 3 months. Stuff like that makes me sure I can get rich quick with a little fortitude. Sadly, I lack fortitude. I lost all my money once and I’ll never forget.

        The question now is: When do you go short and how do you do it without losing lots of money if you’re early.

        1. craazyboy

          Ya, I knew a travel agent once and she said she never made any money. So I figure the capital share of profits must be great if they don’t give any to labor!

          Dunno about going short. Just saw a headline on Yahoo Biz saying the market may get a “second wind”. Also too because Yellen. Could go to S%P500 8000. Wouldn’t want to short that move!

            1. craazyman

              grammar is simply an inconvenience.

              what’s your best 10-bagger right now? It’s time to get rich or we never will. (BTW, It has to go straight up).

    2. Jim Haygood

      C-man, look at the big picture. If 300 million Americans IPO themselves, we won’t have to take risky punts on individual sports celebrities. Instead, risk-averse investors can buy whole demographics of indentured workers: Gen X; Gen Y; twenty-somethings; the whole population of Idaho.

      Youngsters are the growth stocks, while sunset Boomers constitute the no-growth, high-yielding value issues. Sad that they’ll have to pledge their estates to avoid the ignominy of delisting. But the whole lot, young to old, will be Obamacared, keeping maintenance expenses negligible.

      Once delisted, it’s off to the local Soylent Green franchise for a final feast of steaks, shrimp cocktails, ice cream, whatever you want, surrounded by video walls with lush visual porn of Caribbean scenes. Your residual mineral value — the phosphorus and such — is just enough to cover your goodbye party, plus provide a yield to SG shareholders.

      Growth, value or liquidation: it’s a debate that will never be settled. But technicians have cohort selection systems to exploit demographic and commodity trends.

      1. Jon

        “C-man, look at the big picture. If 300 million Americans IPO themselves, we won’t have to take risky punts on individual sports celebrities. Instead, risk-averse investors can buy whole demographics of indentured workers: Gen X; Gen Y; twenty-somethings; the whole population of Idaho.”

        Isn’t Treasury already doing this by selling bonds?

  4. Jim A

    Just more evidence that the Feds endless pumping of money into the hands of bankers and Wall Street is NOT having the intended effect of trickling down into the Main Street economy that makes stuff and employs people. The wealthy have plenty of money to invest, but not enough productive things to invest it in because the rest of us can’t buy more stuff.

  5. Doug Terpstra

    Mr. French shockingly implies that there’s gambling on Wall Street, a la Vegas. The key difference is that Vegas casinos can’t print the world’s reserve currency. This should alarm everyone, whether in the “market” or not.

    John (Jeremiah) Hussman may have under-prophesied what’s coming when this one loses containment. Yes, this time IS different. The “Fed” has never before printed $110 million an hour 24/7 for five years nonstop, not ever. Hold on; life is about to get very interesting.

    1. mansoor h. khan


      FED’s money printing is NOT the main problem. The main problem is lack of economic growth and lack of good jobs. We have money distribution problem:

      During the great depression deflation caused currency shortage and reduced demand. The real problem during GD was debt-based money.

      The real problem now is debt-based money AND fossil fuel depletion.

      A 100% reserve digital currency would allow the money-stock in circulation to be matched to the economy’s capacity much easier. Yes banks would lose their money creation privilege but at least we will avert a mad max scenario which a deflationary spiral will certainly lead to.

      Even with a 100% reserve digital currency most of current debts will not be repayable. This means that economic relationships in our civilization will have to be re-structured.

      My main point is this ==>

      Insolvency on a national balance sheet does not equal a bankrupt national economy (usually). All it means is that economic relationships in our civilization will have to be re-structured to match the productive capacity of the economy (that is debts needs to be discharged, forgiven, re-negotiated, assets liquidated and divided up, etc).

      We always have had a distribution problem when the rate of production of goods and services skyrocketed due to the use of fossil fuels. Specially since the start of the industrial revolution.

      This distribution problem was masked by growth. Growth did provide opportunities for most in society to get enough money to not revolt and get too upset (at least in the industrialized countries).

      We now must solve this distribution problem and we must keep in mind the dwindling fossil fuel supplies which has powered our material production/modernity so far.

      I suggest the following:

      A) we start a social credit/Social dividend/guaranteed income program and give every U.S. citizen $500 per month regardless of income or regardless of any public assistance they currently receive.

      B) Increase taxation to keep inflation in check. Increased taxation should include stiff consumption tax to discourage too much consumption by the rich and upper middle classes.

      D) Start stringent energy conservation and run a low-grade industrial civilization with less yearly fossil fuel consumption.

      C) This will buy us time to develop another cheap energy source and possibly resume growth or if we don’t find another another cheap energy source we will have time to learn how to live without machines, fertilizers and pesticides.

      more at:

      Mansoor H. Khan

      1. TheCatSaid

        Not sure about the stiff consumption tax.

        VAT (sales tax) in Europe hits the poor and middle-class the hardest, as they are required to spend most of their income on day-to-day necessities so it has been shown to be highly regressive.

        Fairness of a high consumption tax would depend on having some things (basic needs?) exempt, plus a higher tax rates on luxury goods (yachts? race horses? sports cars?) and on unnecessary things (Large TVs? ALL TVs?). Fun to think about. . .

        1. mansoor h. khan

          Yes. But the monthly social credit stipend can be set high enough to adjust for the additional consumption tax. The idea is to discourage high consumption by the rich and the upper middle classes to conserve fossil fuels!

          Mansoor H. Khan

    1. from Mexico

      That’s what I was thinking, either Bitcoins or shale gas.

      Actually, shale gas might work if prices soar to somewhere north of $10 per MMBTU from their current $3. Likewise shares of Adrian Foster’s future income might work if, by some miracle, his future income tops $30 million, instead of a much more likely $5 million.

  6. jimmy james

    Casey Research? Of goldbug fame?

    If you’re printing *them*, it doesn’t bode well for the site.

    1. from Mexico

      Well I don’t know.

      It seems to me that something resembling truth might be found somewhere between the tradition-bound straight jacket of the gold-bug’s empiricism and Fichte’s, Schelling’s and Hegel’s unbridled speculation and assertion of absolute freedom.

      1. scraping_by

        Ah, but Testosterone Pit.

        I don’t know if vouching is additive or scalar, but I’d give Wolf a better that midpoint rating.

        Besides, what are you looking for, MSM credentials?

  7. Aaron Layman

    Fantasy football isn’t the only thing in a bubble. The local real estate market is suffering from irrational exuberance as well. Recent growth from the shale oil & gas boom has helped to bid up Houston area home prices to levels which would have been laughable just 12-18 months ago.
    In a rare bit of sanity, our local school district in Katy (West Houston) saw a $100 million bond proposal defeated. The reason? The district was going to spend roughly $70 million of that to build a new high school football stadium right next to the one we already have.

      1. anon y'mouse

        david bowie, alain delon….all the beautiful people are potentially products.

        Warhol with them? ptuy! he should’ve never taught them how.

    1. Yves Smith

      No. Bowie sold a bond. A bond is promise to pay interest and principal on specific dates. It was secured by a royalties from IIRC 24 long play records.

  8. JTFaraday

    “Let’s just say that American industry ain’t what it used to be.”

    I think the stock market has become a voting machine. Market moving “smart money” (Thanks, Fed!) invests in or votes en masse for the things it wants to see. So, Facebook, Amazon–these companies stir things up, and force changes in business paradigms.

    They have a word they use for this. “Disruptive,” I think it is. It doesn’t matter if that disruption is good or bad– Amazon has put lots of institutions out of business or into crisis en route to becoming a no-profits behemoth– but that disruption is good in and of itself.

    Just like “creative destruction,” which seems to have originally been descriptive, has become good in and of itself.

    1. ambrit

      Watch out now. Just see what happens when you try out some of that “creative destruction” business from the bottom.

  9. Anyone

    Just another casino market in a casino economy. When the production of real things stops what alternative do we have? Money for nothing, chicks for free indeed!


    In a weapons producing nation under Jesus
    In the fabled crucible of the free world
    Camera crews search for clues amid the detritus
    And entertainment shapes the land
    The way the hammer shapes the hand


  10. DakotabornKansan

    Gambling our way to prosperity … fantasy stocks for a fantasy market… Rich guys addicted to gambling with other people’s money.


    The great American FUBAR, the unravelling of the Roosevelt Republic, or how America became like Walmart…

    “He was seeing beyond the surfaces of the land to its hidden truths. Some nights he sat up late on his front porch with a glass of Jack and listened to the trucks heading south on 220, carrying crates of live chickens to the slaughterhouses—always under cover of darkness, like a vast and shameful trafficking—chickens pumped full of hormones that left them too big to walk—and he thought how these same chickens might return from their destination as pieces of meat to the floodlit Bojangles’ up the hill from his house, and that meat would be drowned in the bubbling fryers by employees whose hatred of the job would leak into the cooked food, and that food would be served up and eaten by customers who would grow obese and end up in the hospital in Greensboro with diabetes or heart failure, a burden to the public, and later Dean would see them riding around the Mayodan Wal-Mart in electric carts because they were too heavy to walk the aisles of a Supercenter, just like hormone-fed chickens.” – Dean Price, a North Carolina truck stop owner, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, George Packer

    ’Tis the capitalist way!

    “It is clear to me that Dodd-Frank, however good its intentions, has not and will not protect us against another meltdown.” – former Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.)

    “Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.” – Henry David Thoreau

    “We stand defeated America…Our nation has been beaten by strangers who have turned our language inside out who have taken the clean words our fathers spoke and made them slimy and foul…Our nation has been beaten by strangers who have sweated the wealth out of our people…The conquering nation are not to be seen on the streets…they have won why are they scared to be seen the streets? On the streets you see only the downcast faces of the beaten…the streets belong to the beaten nation…” – John Dos Passos, “Speech of the People,” The Big Money [U.S.A. trilogy]

    1. Banger

      Paradigms change–I think, eventually, real human beings will feel the fires of hell in all this and turn away to greener pastures. The key thing to understand about the life we are building or has been built is that it is stressful, sad, lonely, and moving us towards zombie-status, i.e., unfeeling, unthinking sort of humanity. My guess is that there are enough people who have a different vision of humanity who will live the alternative and, due to the power of that, will have a disproportionate effect on our society.

      Great quotes, btw.

    2. susan the other

      Interesting that Larry Summers advocated bubbles to keep the economy functioning in a proper capitalist manner! Because we suffer from the material reality that there isn’t enough demand to accomplish this naturally. He said that, just not in so many words. So this is the answer: Fantasy stocks fit the bill. And we turn to fantasy because capitalism and technology have been very successful providing us with the real things we need. And in so doing has been so efficient that productivity has killed the goose. The things we need are big-ticket items; an agribusiness that assures our nutritional needs (except it is now time to decentralize and purify it); housing (until 2008), and we are almost there for single payer – maybe a decade away? If bubbles could be used in the service of better causes it could be a good thing. Why don’t bubbles create great quantities of equity for everyone; why don’t bubbles create good science and applied science in a timely manner; why don’t bubbles clean up their own godawful messes?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        A reader wrote a letter to the editor after a newspaper ran an article explaing the many flavors and twists and turns of QE. “After reading your article I now understand what Quantitative Easing is. I no longer understand, however, what money is”.

  11. BITFU

    Thank you for this timely article. Here’s some other action/investments for those so inclined.

    The most compelling–for me anyways–is the Baby Momma Option going off at EVEN MONEY for Antonio Cromartie to surpass Calvin Murphy by the fiscal close of 2014.

    Currently, Cromartie is sitting on a very impressive 12 Babies BY 9 Mommas. But will he surpass the Gengis Khanesque numbers of Calvin Murphy whose 14 BY 9 is currently the Paternity Gold Standard?


    Personally, I thought Murphy’s record belonged in the Pantheon of unbreakables, right along side Dimaggio’s 56 game hit streak. Now, I’m not so sure; Cromartie is absolutely P-R-O-L-I-F-I-C.

    Yes, there are vasectomy rumors swirling around Cromartie, but those were leaked by Cromartie’s own camp, so don’t fall for the hype. Besides, as my old mentor, Johnny Vegas always told me: “Son, when in doubt, bet the spawn.” Truer words have never been spoken; take Cromartie and the OVER. Cha-cha-CHING!

    Others FANTEX ETFs worthy of note:

    There’s an over-under on NFL DUIs that commands attention. Currently it’s at a very reasonable 23.5 for remainder of season. If you can get into this action prior to tonight’s post-game festivities, it’s a no-brainer. Take the OVER 23.5 DUIs, because it includes the playoffs.

    NFL Domestic Batteries are at 9.5 remainder through playoffs. Obviously you take the OVER on this one as well, but I’m not a fan of these. I think it sends the wrong message to be rooting for a jealous and soon-to-be-ex-wife to get choked-out against a kitchen appliance at 3:00 A.M. after demanding to know where her man’s been into the wee hours.

    Of course, you can also find meaningful yield in Performance Enhancing Drug violations —(which does NOT include cycling–sorry), boxing corruption, NCAA electronics theft and my personal favorite: High School coaches convicted of committing aggravated assault and battery on the playing field.

    It’s all here, ripe for the taking. See you in the Cash-Out Line!

  12. John Yard

    Not a particularly insightful article. Amazon doesn’t ‘make money’ – net income – because it invests heavily into retail and cloud computing, with the hope of attaining a Microsoft like dominance of computing. This propensity to invest is in the tradition of Fordist capitalism.
    Given 1) mid term very low interest rates 2) the political triumph of capital over labor in Europe and America historically high rates of return are plausible for the mid foreseeable future. Today’s prices are not high given these real rates of return.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Great Ford, I like it! The Fed’s unwritten target is S&P 2K by springtime. Let free money work its magic.

    2. Crazy Horse

      And why should Jeff Bezos care if Amazon makes money? His personal net worth has grown by 4 billion $ as CEO.

      For corporate officers how much money they make is the only measure of success, and that is only peripherally related to how successful the corporations they lead are. After all, in a free market things like the connections you make among your peers are more valuable than mere profit statements.

    3. scraping_by

      I always thought Amazon made its money through tax rebates. Off books by offshoring, perhaps. And local government subsidies.

      Still, an interesting mystery.

    1. Anyone

      With the continued rise of information technology, one can easily imagine a giant virtual tote board where all of our individual and/or collective future fates are traded like so much other probability information. In the end, it all comes down to so many 1’s and 0’s, does it not?

  13. Chauncey Gardiner

    Bubbles have stages (just googled “Bubble Stages”). But who knows whether we are in the final ‘Melt-up Mania’ End Stage, or will see stock prices rise for another 12-24 months before the apex? I certainly don’t, and don’t care really; although I wish those who are participating in these “free markets” while professing their disdain for the federal government and Fed all the best in their QE-fueled SPX 2K quest.

    What has been abundantly demonstrated is that estimating a stock’s future price based on traditional metrics such as price/earnings ratios, or those Mr. Damodaran suggested in his first book, are of little predictive value.

    How far will those who are manipulating the markets push this bubble, what will be the catalyst which will finally cause it to collapse, and what will happen in the aftermath? Again, I have no idea, although I have heard that collateral calls in the overnight repo market have been identified as the catalyst for the implosion of previous bubbles.

    Wonder to what extent market prices have been driven up by some sophisticated financial iteration of organized house flipping? Luckily the SEC is all over this, so I won’t have to consult “The Mechanics of Bubble Blowing, a Primer” at the local library.

    At some point we will see reversion to the historical mean.

  14. scraping_by

    Absurd idea come, absurd ideas go, but the one thing that always remains is management fees.

    Two and twenty is enough. Ponzi schemes are for the dumb and greedy. Since an investment vehicle no longer has to make sense, just raise the bucket to free money.

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