The bearish billionaires

Three billionaire investors, who see an end to the bull market in US stocks.

As the S&P marches on and on, experienced investors are increasingly concerned that it is running out of oxygen. One is Sam Zell, a real-estate billionaire nicknamed the Grave Dancer' for his knack of profiting from distressed assets. He's worried about the gulf between the stock market's performance and the underlying economic fundamentals.

In the latest earnings season, says Zell, firms that disappointed the market mainly did so because their sales fell short of forecasts. That's a reflection of weak demand, which is hardly a hallmark of a thriving recovery with equities at record levels.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

Part of the reason stocks are overinflated is that people have nowhere else to put their money amid rock-bottom interest rates. This makes the market look precarious, as the economic and geopolitical backdrop is uncertain."It's very likely that something has to give here," he concludes.

Meanwhile, George Soros has taken out put options insurance against a decline on an ETF tracking the S&P 500. The position is worth $2.2bn, or 17% of his total assets under management, says Tyler Durden on

Advertisement - Article continues below

And Carl Icahn, the "poster-child of leveraged financial engineering", says he's nervous about US stocks. Then again, concludes Durden, investors should consider the possibility that the bearish billionaires are a contrarian indicator.




The British equity market is shrinking

British startups are abandoning public stockmarkets and turning to deep-pocketed Silicon Valley venture capitalists for their investment needs.
8 Nov 2019

There are lots of reasons to be bearish – but you should stick with the bulls

There are plenty of reasons to be gloomy about the stockmarkets. But the trend remains up, says Dominic Frisby. And you don’t want to bet against the …
17 Jul 2019

Good news on jobs scares US stockmarkets

June brought the best monthly US jobs growth of the year, but stockmarkets were not best pleased.
11 Jul 2019

Trade-war ceasefire boosts stockmarkets

Stockmarkets sighed with relief after the G20 summit in Japan brought a handshake between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
4 Jul 2019

Most Popular


What does the coronavirus crisis mean for UK house prices?

With the whole country in lockdown, the UK property market is closed for business. John Stepek looks at what that means for UK house prices, housebuil…
27 Mar 2020
EU Economy

The European Central Bank throws away the rulebook to bail out Italy

The ECB has removed all constraints on asset purchases and will now buy “whatever it takes” to tackle the coronavirus. John Stepek explains what it me…
26 Mar 2020

Gold is hard to find right now – so should you be buying?

With demand through the roof and the physical metal hard to find, it's not the best time to buy gold. But right now, says Dominic Frisby, you want to …
25 Mar 2020
UK Economy

The UK’s bailout of the self employed comes with a hidden catch

The chancellor’s £6.5bn bailout of the self employed is welcome. But it has hidden benefits for the taxman, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
27 Mar 2020