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2008年的市场告诉我们一个怎样的2009年?

(2009-02-10 10:39:27)
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2008年的市场告诉我们一个怎样的2009年?(2)

 

 

在上一篇博客中,我探究了2008年金融市场的惨淡表现,并得出结论,认为仅仅市场非理性并不能导致如此异乎寻常的市场走势(2008年是美国股市183年以来表现最差年份之一)。如此令人难以置信的市场表现预示着实体经济前景并不乐观!市场修正完全有效的可能性很低。那么,问题在于是市场反应过度还是最差情况还未到来?反应过度是市场的一种可能状态,一次性事件如并购公告很明显能引发市场反应过度。不幸的是,这并非是最为常见的市场状态。通常情况下,股价倾向于缓慢调整。实际上,研究结果表明,即使在最有效的市场中,股价只有在很长一段时间后才能完全反映信息(一些研究表明纽约证交所存在两周的时间延期)。因此,你不得不将市场信息的缓慢反映过程与众所周知的动量效应结合在一起考虑。动量可能更多基于市场参与者的行为,即市场心理。就此而言,市场信息和市场情绪使我们相信市场还未触底。

 

这段时间,我们已经见证的实体经济面消息可以分为三类:

1.      公司财报及其他公告

2.      全球各国政府承诺投入大规模资金支持经济发展

3.      地缘政治紧张局势及全球不稳定性

 

各公司将在未来几周公布财报。去年,金融业公司财报最引人注目,但金融股股价的巨大跌幅并不能说明整体市场的跌幅。迄今为止,惨淡的公司财报也不能完全解释大盘的跌势。因此,我们可以预计公司将公布盈利显著下滑并大幅调降2009年的盈利预期。但是,有些公司可能会利用当前市场状况来缓解财报对股价的压力,或者出于可疑的动机或者出于完全合理的原因。有代表性的可疑的行为就是公司利用当前市场状况来清除过去对业绩的人为操作,以期赢得投资者及公众的宽容。而实力强劲的公司利用当前市场状况来提升长期表现、增加品质提升支出、裁减竞争激烈时招聘的人员、在当前竞争程度减弱的环境下招聘更具才能的人员将是合理的行为。这些行为导致的盈利下降可能在长期内促使公司表现良好,不过盈利下降首先是当前危机的影响结果。 

 

那么,公司疲弱的盈利状况是否能够通过政府的慷慨行为得到补偿呢?现在还很难说。的确,我们需要一个新的凯恩斯理论。我对旧有的凯恩斯理论仍行之有效表示怀疑。现在的经济危机与上世纪30年代危机不同。仅仅凭借向金融体系注入资金可能并不会提高生产力或者产生社会效益。风险在于这只是建立了一个无效体系,而没有真正创造价值。如果我们愿意捐出自己的钱财,我宁愿捐给个人而非那些经营失败的公司。我们不能忽视这样的事实,即许多银行和公司经营失败应归咎于公司高级管理层犯下的明显错误。虽然大部分公司将在不同程度上受到冲击,但多数公司将不会破产,这些公司可能已经找到了生存之路。经济衰退是一剂难以下咽的苦药,但是如果我们不能再次练就健康的体魄,苦药又有何用呢?

 

最后,全球范围内的地缘政治紧张局势正在抬头,并且对经济的影响不可忽视。我们生活在一个不稳定的世界中。这种不稳定所导致的意外事件将产生严重的经济(以及财富)后果。

 

虽然中期前景并不正面,但完全理解并关注危机是我们变得更强、更明智、更健康的最佳方式。但是,问题在于我们怎样才能实现这一目标?我们是否已经做的更好?我将在下周的文章中对这些问题做出解答。

 

2008年的市场告诉我们一个什么样的2009年(1)?

 

英文原文:

 

What do 2008 Markets Tell Us for the 2009 Economy?

 

Last week, I explored the dismal performance of financial markets in 2008. We came to the conclusion that pure irrationality of markets would not have led to such extraordinary results (one of three worse in 183 years for the US).  This incredible performance certainly provides a perspective on the real economy, and this perspective is not exciting!  There was a low probability that the correction would have been completely effective.  Then the question is whether markets overshot what was needed or whether there is worse to come. Overshooting is a possible reaction of markets. It can happen notably in one time events, such as acquisition announcements. Unfortunately, it is not the most frequent market reaction. Typically prices tend to adjust rather slowly.  Indeed, research shows that even in the most efficient markets, prices fully incorporate information only after a long time (some research shows a time delay of two weeks in the NYSE!). You then have to combine the slow integration of information in markets with the well-known momentum effect. Momentum may be more based on behavioral issues - the psychology of markets. And thus information and sentiment lead us to believe that we still have more to see.

 

 

The real economic news we have witnessed for the time being comes in three categories:

 

  1. The earnings and other announcements of corporations
  2. The large amount committed by governments for support of the economies across the world
  3. The geopolitical tensions and global instability that manifest themselves throughout the globe.

 

Announcements of earnings will be coming in the next few weeks. Last year, the most dramatic earnings announcements came from the financials. The dramatic fall of financials value (with a reduction of value by a factor of 8 at Citigroup!) does not justify the overall market drop. The corporate earnings announcements so far do not justify that drop either. And thus we can expect a significant drop of earnings at the end of the year and more significantly a significant drop in guidance or in expectations for 2009. Interestingly, part of this will come from whitewashing: taking advantage of markets conditions to relax earnings pressure either for questionable behaviors or for perfectly reasonable ones.  Typical of questionable behaviors will be companies that take advantage to clean-up past earnings manipulations hoping for a more forgiving investor sentiment (and public sentiment) at a time of difficulties for many (as an extreme example Satyam Computer?).   It would be reasonable behaviour for strong companies to take advantage by boosting long term performance and differentiating from competition by increasing expenses on quality, letting go of personnel recruited in times of heavy competition (even at a cost) and recruiting better personnel in today’s less competitive environment. These earnings drops may be leading to overperformance in the long term, but will be first interpreted as part of today’s overall crisis.

Could the earnings weakness be compensated by government’s generosity with taxpayers’ money? It is hard to see how. Indeed, we need a new Keynes. I doubt the old Keynes still works. This is not the 1930s crisis.  Just dropping money into the system may not increase its productivity or its alignment with the social good for that matter.  The risk is to build an inefficient system that hides some of the hardship without truly creating value. If we are willing to give money away, I would rather give it to the people than to the failures of the financial or the industrial world.  We cannot hide from the fact that many bank and corporate failures are due to the blatant mistakes of their senior management. While most companies will suffer somehow, most will not fail.  And those that will may have found their way.  A recession is a hard pill to swallow, but unless we build a healthy body again, I do not see why the pill would work. It may just boost us for a bit, and, if potent enough, give us some sweet dreams.

 

 

Finally, geopolitical tensions are arising across the globe in a way that cannot be ignored for economical purposes. We live in an unstable world. This instability promises surprises that could have deep economic (and wealth) consequences.

 

While the medium term perspective is not positive, full awareness and looking at the crisis in the eyes is our best way to pull stronger, wiser and healthier from it. One question that arises though is: How did we get there? And could we have done better? I will address these questions next week.

 

Didier Cossin is the UBS Professor of Banking and Finance at IMD, the leading global business school based in Lausanne, Switzerland (www.imd.ch).

 

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