On May 6, 2010, the stock market was having a pretty negative day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by over 300 points with just over an hour left in the trading session. At approximately 2:42 p.m. EST, the market dropped by another 600 points in five minutes. Keep in mind that the Dow was only at about 10,500 at the time, so this was a big drop, percentage-wise.
I have recently started reading the first Nostradamus book by Dolores Cannon. Cannon was a hypnotherapist who transgressed her research subjects into a somnambulism if trance. This is the state in which all people become clairvoyant and have access to past lives, history and lost knowledge. With some of Cannon’s subjects, Nostradamus came through and gave detailed explanations about the meaning of his quatrains.
The total value of equity-backed securities in the United States rose over 600% in the 25 years between 1989 and 2012 as market capitalization expanded from $2,790 billion to $18,668 billion. Direct ownership of stock by individuals rose slightly from 17.8% in 1992 to 17.9% in 2007, with the median value of these holdings rising from $14,778 to $17,000. Indirect participation in the form of retirement accounts rose from 39.3% in 1992 to 52.6% in 2007, with the median value of these accounts more than doubling from $22,000 to $45,000 in that time. Rydqvist, Spizman, and Strebulaev attribute the differential growth in direct and indirect holdings to differences in the way each are taxed in the United States. Investments in pension funds and 401ks, the two most common vehicles of indirect participation, are taxed only when funds are withdrawn from the accounts. Conversely, the money used to directly purchase stock is subject to taxation as are any dividends or capital gains they generate for the holder. In this way the current tax code incentivizes individuals to invest indirectly.
Market history suggests that increase in debt drives bubbles and when its government debt, the bubble is huge. Bull markets of 1720s, 1820s and 1920s led to historical market crashes. The Dot Com bubble burst in 2000-2001, and completely shut off many big companies while others suffered big losses that took years to recover. Market started recovering at the end of 2002 and then again the 2008 crash resulted in horrible financial crisis to the economy.