Some Things Never Change… On Markets and Uncertainty


The New Yorker cartoons are classics because they always hit the mark…

But thirty years later?  Who would have guessed…  that what was timely in the eighties would be just as true today.

Published way back in the early ’80s it pretty well captured the spirit of the era.  But in spite of the fact that times have changed—  and now doesn’t even remotely resemble then— even today it sounds like a familiar old refrain.


The Scene:

Man in living room watching the nightly news… the anchorman interpreting charts and graphs of market fluctuations.


The Caption:

On Wall Street today, news of lower interest rates sent the stock market up, but then the expectation that these rates would be inflationary sent the market down, until the realization that lower rates might stimulate the sluggish economy pushed the market up, before it ultimately went down on fears that an overheated economy would lead to a re-imposition of higher interest rates.”


Funny, yes… but oh so true…  people are still trying to figure out what it all means.


…  While so much has changed and interest rates are far, far, far from the peak they reached in the early 1980s, there is still that same uncertainty as to what will happen next.

But with interest rates low and inventory high, sellers motivated and buyers wanting to buy, there are a few things we know for sure.

There will never be a market that is perfect for everyone; there are advantages and disadvantages to every market cycle; and if  The New Yorker is any indication…  that isn’t likely to change any time soon.