IT IS the nature of columnists to look for historical parallels, as they provide a good peg for discussing current conditions. So it is hardly surprising that Gillian Tett of the Financial Times, who made her reputation with her acute coverage of the 2008 crisis, has sounded warning signs about a repeat and indeed about central-banker complacency on the subject. On September 1st, she wrote of the “peculiar distortions” in the financial world, notably that
anybody who deals with financial markets on a macro level today—as a banker, asset manager or corporate treasurer—knows that many asset prices are extraordinarily elevated.
This is true, although of course, bond yields have been at historical lows for some time, and the cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio of US equities (currently 27) has been well above the historic average since 2009. The question is when things will right themselves; the Spectator called the <a…Continue reading