Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 448


14 August 2009 / Issue 448

Shares that will beat the bear... PLUS:

  • Four reasons the share price bounce can't last
  • Profile: Pop's svengali storms into fashion
  • Bill Bonner: Cash for clunkers is cash down the drain


Why we’re still bears

I am accused by a reader’s letter of “clutching to a suicidal bearish stance” despite “unmissable signs of thawing in the credit market” and despite the huge rallies in global markets since their lows.

He is right about some of this. But I think I’d say, “sticking to” rather than “clutching to” a bearish stance and I’d miss out the suicidal bit.

A few years ago we were the only bears in town. That was uncomfortable – over the years there were many letters from readers begging us to swallow our pride and reconsider our stance on everything from the property market to the sustainability of oil at $150. Luckily we stuck to our guns.  

Today, we have more company – to the extent that even some of the bulls out there are managing to be bears at the same time. Note Morgan Stanley’s latest suggestion, based, says The Times, on an analysis of 19 “leading bear markets”. The bank expects the FTSE 1000 to hit 6,000 within the next 12 months (the bull bit) before falling back sharply (the bear bit).

There are positive signs out there at the moment – a sharp rise in German industrial orders in June, for example, and mutterings of price rises in the UK housing market, but, still, many of the important numbers aren’t telling a happy story.  

• Read the full editor’s letter here: Why we’re still bears