Monday, April 30, 2007

Grantham and Faber on bubbles

Jeremy Grantham's latest commentary to investors at GMO seems to stress the bubble-like atmosphere that's enveloped asset markets across the globe; at least that's what we hear from a number of sources, including John Mauldin and Barry Ritholtz (who might have actually read the thing).

Meanwhile, I can't help but notice that Grantham's observations sound a lot like what we heard from Marc Faber earlier in the year, and as far back as 2006. Let's compare.

Here's Mauldin quoting Grantham:

Grantham says we are now seeing the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes.
"'Everything is in bubble territory,' he says. 'Everything. The bursting of this bubble will be across all countries and all assets.'
"'From Indian antiquities to modern Chinese art,' he wrote in a letter to clients this week following a six-week world tour, 'from land in Panama to Mayfair; from forestry, infrastructure and the junkiest bonds to mundane blue chips; it's bubble time!'

Here's Marc Faber making the same point to Bloomberg earlier in the year, while talking about the easy money conditions that helped bring about the uniform rise in asset markets worldwide:

"Well, I think that the Fed, since June 2004, has increased the Fed Funds rate from 1 percent to 5.25 percent. But money hasn't been tight, because the definition of tight money is that credit/debt...credit market volume, or the debt growth, slows down considerably. That is tight money.

And believe me, when you have tight money the art market doesn't go up by 27 percent like in the US last year. And you don't see new highs in stocks, and you don't see new highs in asset markets like commodities and real estate..."

Since we are fans of both Grantham and Faber, let's just say that great minds think alike (or may at least be influenced by one another).

Update: Link to Grantham's commentary has been updated. You (and I) may now read a full reproduction of, "It's Everywhere, In Everything: The First Truly Global Bubble", courtesy of John Mauldin's Outside The Box e-letter.