A sense of déjà vu

For me it’s déjà vu all over again. When I traded the Nikkei during the nineties, every market rally was capped by a predictable flood of new equity issuance by cash starved, undercapitalized Japanese banks. It sucked the life out of the market for a decade, confining it to a monotonous 14,000-20,000 range, until it finally dropped by half again after the dotcom bust. Sound familiar? This was while the Dow was going from 2,000 to 10,000. Now the tables are turned. Last month saw American banks soak the market with new equity on an unprecedented scale; Citibank $58 billion, Bank of America $25.9 billion, Morgan Stanley $6.8 billion, Goldman Sachs $5.8 billion, and JP Morgan $5 billion. If the market edges higher, we will no doubt face more supply. I have no doubt that this will define the top end of a range in the Dow that we will have to live with for quite a long time. Volatilities will crash. Better to go trade China, Brazil, India, or any other country that has large cash surpluses and relatively healthy banks.

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