The market has a fever, the cure for which is apparently more cowbell.
I appreciate the overall point of this article, that some people overdo it with the negativity. But I have been listening to Chris's QTR podcast for years and I get a lot of value from it. The mainstream orthodoxy seems to be that all you have to do is just put all your money in a stock index fund and trust the market to take care of you. I used to believe this until I discovered Chris (and others that one might call "permabears"). Sometimes I follow discussions among Mustachians and FIRE enthusiasts; they obsess over the exact details of withdrawal rates in retirement, and just take it as a given that the stock market will go up. You can quibble with Chris's style if you want, but still I think it remains true that he provides a valuable counterpoint to the mainstream just-put-everything-in-an-index-fund perspective.
I also wonder what exactly you think Chris has gotten wrong. As far as I can remember, he has not been predicting imminent market collapses or anything like that. (Except perhaps in early 2020, when he was right!) His overall point is that there are fragilities in the markets that we should be aware of, even though we can't know exactly when the problems will manifest themselves. Chris was also right in a huge way in predicting that covid would be a big deal, back when the official narrative was that it was "just the flu."
Let me ask you this: if you don't like Chris Irons then who would you recommend instead? Because I think there are definitely important and valuable things he talks about that are hard to find in the mainstream.
Good read. One thing I would say about Marc Faber is that he may be cantankerous and disdainful of politicians and central bankers, but he stays invested; he is not a “world is going to end go to cash/gold” type of guy. He focuses on diversification and doesn’t push risky strategies like some of the other doomers (short selling etc)
Independent > Contrarian
The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself.
I get where the author is coming from….but what about the context? Ask Irons to do a show….his podcast is good, and he’s fairly even handed when push comes to shove. A back and forth between you would be interesting.
Enjoyed this note, after 35 years in the street I was only vaguely aware of this corner of the finance world. I met Roubini before we (Lehman) went down, ‘everyone keeps talking about green shoots but all I see is yallo weeds’. My reading was technical, mortgage strategy for example and historical classics, Hayek, Friedman, Wicksell with a few newsletters on the Lehman/Barclays stall floors. When I was Barclay’s equity strategist I refused to read Kostin, Lee, Parker, etc. to not distort my process. JPM’ prime group had Tom and I give a bull/bear debate in 2012, guess which one I was? I got to know Street research when I took my sabbatical on the buyside at BlackRock and decided to go in the different direction (less specialized, more provocative than the street, trying to inform investors process and get the big directional calls right) when I returned to writing research at Guggenheim then Ironsides. Opening my work to the public has been enlightening, I get the appeal of doom porn, I follow some of these people for entertainment and to check myself. I am not that active on Twitter but am still surprised when I see one of these purveyors with 10 and in some cases 100 times as many followers as I have. My friend Jared Dillian has written notes with similar themes as yours. It was helpful.
An interesting note is that Chris reposted this article on his Twitter, it had ~45 likes and some comments, think it was getting some traction, I then clicked through and read this and went back and the thread was deleted. Take that information as you will.