Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
The Hottest Sports Stock Of 2020 - 23rd Sep 19
Stocks Wedge At The Edge – Front And Center - 23rd Sep 19
Stock Market Top Almost Confirmed - 23rd Sep 19
Thomas Cook COLLAPSE! 300,000 Passengers Stranded, Flights Cancelled, Planes Grounded - 23rd Sep 19
Massive Stock Market Price Reversion May Be Days or Weeks Away - 22nd Sep 19
How Russia Seized Control of the Uranium Market - 22nd Sep 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - 21st Sep 19
Is Stock Market Price Revaluation Event About To Happen? - 21st Sep 19
Gold Leads, Will the Rest Follow? - 21st Sep 19
Are Cowboys Really Dreaming of... Electric Trucks? - 21st Sep 19
Gold among Negative-Yielding Bonds - 20th Sep 19
Panicky Fed Flooding Overnight Markets with Cash - 20th Sep 19
Uber Stock Price Will Crash on November 6 - 20th Sep 19
Semiconductor Stocks Sector Market & Economic Leader - 20th Sep 19
Learning Artificial Intelligence - What is a Neural Network? - 20th Sep 19
Precious Metals Setting Up Another Momentum Base/Bottom - 20th Sep 19
Small Marketing Budget? No Problem! - 20th Sep 19
The Many Forex Trading Opportunities the Fed Day Has Dealt Us - 19th Sep 19
Fed Cuts Interest Rates and Gold Drops. Again - 19th Sep 19
Silver Still Cheap Relative to Gold, Trend Forecast Update Video - 19th Sep 19
Baby Boomers Are the Worst Investors in the World - 19th Sep 19
Your $1,229 FREE Tticket to Elliott Market Analysis & Trading Set-ups - 19th Sep 19
Is The Stock Market Other Shoe About To Drop With Fed News? - 19th Sep 19
Bitcoin Price 2019 Trend Current State - 18th Sep 19
No More Realtors… These Start-ups Will Buy Your House in Less than 20 Days - 18th Sep 19
Gold Bugs And Manipulation Theorists Unite – Another “Manipulation” Indictment - 18th Sep 19
Central Bankers' Desperate Grab for Power - 18th Sep 19
Oil Shock! Will War Drums, Inflation Fears Ignite Gold and Silver Markets? - 18th Sep 19
Importance Of Internal Rate Of Return For A Business - 18th Sep 19
Gold Bull Market Ultimate Upside Target - 17th Sep 19
Gold Spikes on the Saudi Oil Attacks: Can It Last? - 17th Sep 19
Stock Market VIX To Begin A New Uptrend and What it Means - 17th Sep 19
Philippines, China and US: Joint Exploration Vs Rearmament and Nuclear Weapons - 17th Sep 19
What Are The Real Upside Targets For Crude Oil Price Post Drone Attack? - 17th Sep 19
Curse of Technology Weapons - 17th Sep 19
Media Hypes Recession Whilst Trump Proposes a Tax on Savings - 17th Sep 19
Understanding Ways To Stretch Your Investments Further - 17th Sep 19
Trading Natural Gas As The Season Changes - 16th Sep 19
Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - 16th Sep 19
These Indicators Point to an Early 2020 Economic Downturn - 16th Sep 19
Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - 16th Sep 19
Stock Market Looking Toppy - 16th Sep 19
Is the Stocks Bull Market Nearing an End? - 16th Sep 19
US Stock Market Indexes Continue to Rally Within A Defined Range - 16th Sep 19
What If Gold Is NOT In A New Bull Market? - 16th Sep 19
A History Lesson For Pundits Who Don’t Believe Stocks Are Overvalued - 16th Sep 19
The Disconnect Between Millennials and Real Estate - 16th Sep 19
Tech Giants Will Crash in the Next Stock Market Downturn - 15th Sep 19
Will Draghi’s Swan Song Revive the Eurozone? And Gold? - 15th Sep 19
The Race to Depreciate Fiat Currencies Is Accelerating - 15th Sep 19
Can Crypto casino beat Hybrid casino - 15th Sep 19
British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - 14th Sep 19
Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - 14th Sep 19
War Gaming the US-China Trade War - 14th Sep 19
Buying a Budgie, Parakeet for the First Time from a Pet Shop - Jollyes UK - 14th Sep 19
Crude Oil Price Setting Up For A Downside Price Rotation - 13th Sep 19
A “Looming” Recession Is a Gold Golden Opportunity - 13th Sep 19
Is 2019 Similar to 2007? What Does It Mean For Gold? - 13th Sep 19
How Did the Philippines Establish Itself as a World Leader in Call Centre Outsourcing? - 13th Sep 19
UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - 13th Sep 19
Energy Sector Reaches Key Low Point – Start Looking For The Next Move - 13th Sep 19
Weakening Shale Productivity "VERY Bullish" For Oil Prices - 13th Sep 19
Stock Market Dow to 38,000 by 2022 - 13th Sep 19 - readtheticker
Gold under NIRP? | Negative Interest Rates vs Bullion - 12th Sep 19
Land Rover Discovery Sport Brake Pads and Discs's Replace, Dealer Check and Cost - 12th Sep 19
Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - 12th Sep 19
Increased Pension Liabilities During the Coming Stock Market Crash - 12th Sep 19
Gold at Support: the Upcoming Move - 12th Sep 19
Precious Metals, US Dollar, Stocks – How It All Relates – Part II - 12th Sep 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Invest in the Esports Revolution

When the Uber-Wealthy Bash the Wealth Gap, It's Time to Worry

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2019 May 05, 2019 - 04:26 AM GMT



By Murray Gunn

Multi-billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio recently published a 7500-word call to reform American capitalism. Noting that the nation's wealth gap is the "highest since the 1930s," Dalio wrote that rather than distributing income equally, capitalism is "producing self-reinforcing spirals up for the haves and down for the have-nots" which "pose existential threats to the United States," and amount to a "national emergency."

Parts of Dalio's message sound eerily close to another article authored by another uber-successful capitalist, John J. Raskob. In his piece "Everybody Aught to Be Rich," Raskob writes:

"A man is rich when he has an income which is sufficient to support him and his family in a decent and comfortable manner. That amount of prosperity aught to be attainable by anyone. ... It is quite true that wealth is not so evenly distributed."

Incredibly, Raskob's piece was published 90 years ago in the July 31 issue of Ladies' Home Journal -- in the year 1929! The two men's ideas on how to reconcile their generation's income inequality couldn't be more different. But they share one important commonality -- each sounds the alarm about wealth disparity. And throughout history, that warning has signaled an end to the boom that begot the very wealth disparity in dispute. Case in point, the year of Raskob's article -- 1929 -- saw the greatest stock market peak to date and subsequent period of wealth destruction known as the Great Depression.

This chart shows how broad the wealth gap has become in not just the U.S., but also across the pond in the U.K. It divides each country's stock market by average earnings. In 2019, it takes the average U.S. citizen 123 hours of labor to buy one S&P share. In the U.K., it's 305 hours to buy one share of the FTSE All-Share Index.

The chart also shows how the greater the wealth gap becomes, the closer the instrument of that wealth -- the stock market -- gets to significant peaks. Note the last two times when hours needed to buy one share reached a similar extreme. The first time was in 1999-2000. That year marked the peak in both measures, when it took 407 hours for the average Brit to buy one share of the FTSE All-Share and 108 hours for an American worker to buy one share of the S&P 500. That period also saw a wave of Dalio-esque rebukes of capitalism with a raft of articles like "New Politics of Inequality" (Sept. 22 NYT), "Globalization Widens Rich-Poor Gap" (July 13 NYT), and a 1999 United Nations report warning "the world is heading toward grotesque inequalities, neither sustainable nor worth sustaining." In November 1999, we cited the "growing gulf between haves and have-nots" as a profound signal of a boom cycle nearing its end and wrote:

"A bear market is nature's way of redistributing wealth, but apparently, at a trend change as big as this one, people just cannot wait to get in there and lend a hand."

Two months later, the bubble bust and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 40%, 2-year long bear market.

The second extreme in hours needed to buy one share came near peak territory in 2006-7. Again, main street cited corporate America's failures, as the widening wealth gap became a "chasm" and social media became a soap box for anti-capitalist rebukes:

"Wealth Gap Has Widened More than 50%" (August 29 CNN Money)

"Haves and Have-Nots: Income Inequality in America" (Feb. 5 NPR)

"The Rich, the Poor and the Growing Gap Between Them" (June 15 Economist)

By year's end, the December 2006 Elliott Wave Financial Forecast went on bearish red alert and said:

The timing of the last wealth disparity alarm makes a more important point. They tend to arrive at big peaks." (See the full commentary here.)

Two months later, the KBW Bank Index peaked, heralding in the global financial meltdown -- in October 2007 came the deepest stock market decline since the Great Depression. At the February 2009 bottom, the hours-work-per-share in the U.S. and U.K. dropped to 184 and 39 respectively.

Today, the lint of acrimony over the widening gulf between the 1% and everyone else is smoldering once again, as these 2019 headlines evince:

"America's 1% Hasn't Controlled This Much Wealth Since Before the Great Depression" (Feb. 24 MarketWatch)

"Wealth Inequality is Way Worse Than You Think" (Feb. 29 Forbes)

"Richest 1% on Target to Own Two-Thirds of All Wealth by 2030" (April 7 The Guardian)

But as Dalio himself observed: "Most everything happens over and over again through history, and by observing and thinking through these patterns, one can better understand how reality works and acquire timeless and universal principles for dealing with it better." I couldn't agree more. Dalio himself is both observer and part of the boom-bust pattern underway now, one in which I fully anticipate the concerns over inequality to disappear as the playing field becomes inexorably leveled.

Follow this link to read our previous commentary on the wage gap and stock market peaks, published just months before the 2007-2008 financial crisis began.

Who is Elliott Wave International?
EWI is the world's largest independent technical analysis firm. Founded by Robert Prechter in 1979, EWI helps investors and traders to catch market opportunities and avoid potential pitfalls before others even see them coming. Their unique perspective and high-quality analysis have been their calling card for nearly 40 years, featured in financial news outlets such as Fox Business, CNBC, Reuters, MarketWatch and Bloomberg.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules