Buy stocks because bonds are so central-bank suppressed that they’re the guaranteed investment from hell. That’s what passes for wisdom on Wall Street these days. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via lewrockwell.com:
Jerome Powell puts you in mind of the boy who killed both of his parents and then threw himself on the mercy of the court on the grounds that he was an orphan!
That’s what JayPo essentially did in his presser yesterday while trying to explain that the most hideous equity market bubble in history is actually not that at all:
“If you look at P/Es they’re historically high, but in a world where the risk-free rate is going to be low for a sustained period, the equity premium, which is really the reward you get for taking equity risk, would be what you’d look at,” Powell said.
“Admittedly P/Es are high but that’s maybe not as relevant in a world where we think the 10-year Treasury is going to be lower than it’s been historically from a return perspective,” Powell said.
Right. The Fed has essentially murdered the bond yield. So relatively speaking, grossly inflated stocks are a bargain compared to dead-in-the-water bonds.
Bloomberg even has a chart to prove all this based on the so-called “Fed model”:
The S&P 500’s earnings yield – profit relative to share price – is 2.5 percentage points higher than the yield on 10-year Treasury notes. The comparison, loosely labeled the Fed model, sits well above what the spread was before the burst of the internet bubble, when bonds yielded more than equities by that measure.
Then again, the “earnings yield” is not exactly cash you can take to the bank, unlike a bond coupon as meager as it might be at present. The former is just a computational hope that today’s vastly inflated stock prices relative to earnings stay inflated indefinitely, world without end.