Dear John: I have read many of your columns and own many stocks, mostly old-school growth stocks.
While I understand when you talk about stock market bubbles, many of my stocks are at multiyear lows. Where is the bubble then? Is the bubble in Amazon, Netflix and Tesla, or in the entire market?
Many stocks are doing badly right now — especially the traditionally “safer” consumer/food stocks.
The real problem has been the disconnect between “growth” and “value” stocks for over a decade now, mainly due to low interest rates. The tide may turn soon, and Amazon and its kind will finally get hammered, as they deserve. R.B.
Dear R.B.: As I wrote recently in a different column, the stock market is overpriced on an overall basis. Price-to-earnings ratios, the typical way to measure the market’s exuberance, are currently averaging around 17.1 percent for the 500 stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. The historical average is 14.8 percent.
That means there is a 17-1 ratio between stock prices to earnings per share for those 500 companies.
So whether you want to call it a bubble or not, the market is richly priced. And those ratios include the recent corporate earnings increase caused by the Trump administration’s tax cuts.
Dear John: Didn’t you used to be John Crudele?
Something tells me that you will not be moving your family to live near a fracking field anytime soon. But you have no problem pushing it onto others.
The choice you give between Middle East war and increased fracking is a false choice, which I know you are smart enough to realize. Therefore I conclude that you are nothing more than a propagandist, a shill, a fraud, bought and paid for. J.G.
Dear J.G.: I get stupid e-mails from idiots all the time. And usually I ignore them or don’t see them because my spam filter is smart enough to spot clowns like you.
Your comment has to do with the fact that I propose, like I have many times before, that the US ramp up its oil production so that we are less dependent on the Saudis and other OPEC nations. And so we will be less inclined to fight wars whenever there is the possibility that oil production from other parts of the world will be cut off.
Incidentally, I had the same stance when fracking — a high-pressure way to get residual oil out of the earth — was brand new and we were in the middle of fights in the Middle East.
Now the US is nearly energy independent, and we can give the middle finger to any nation that tries to hold us hostage economically.
You should also know that I’ve said since those early days that the US government should encourage and even subsidize the development of cars that don’t run on gasoline. So my position has always been that America should increase the supply of oil while also working to reduce the demand.
And that’s exactly the way the US seems to be going.
Now for your stupid comment: Fracking should be done in regions that affect the least number of people. And it should only be done where people are willing to accept it, which is usually where people are desperate for jobs and new industries.
Does fracking cause environmental concerns? It seems that it does. But that’s nothing compared with the thousands of soldiers killed and the trillions of dollars spent defending countries in which our only interest is keeping the oil flowing.
And we will fix the environmental issues. Like any new industry, there are bugs to be worked out.
Thanks for the stupid comment. I needed to get that policy statement off my chest.