After reading article after article, blog after blog, tweet after tweet - I've come to one conclusion "No One Knows". And coming to that conclustion does not comfort me all that much.
Every expert [and non-expert] has made some very critical assumptions with regard to what is best, what actions should be taken, who's to blame, what are acceptable "losses", how bad [or good] it will be, how long it will take, etc and so on. For every person saying one thing, there is another person saying just the opposite - and each person believes their point of view is "right" and the person's is "wrong".
But what if there is a third option - what if no one actually knows what's going to happen - what if we are living in the world of the "black swan" or true "chaos theory" in which previous obeservations and predicable trends no longer apply. What if there is not "true" logic associated with our current situation. What if what we are experiencing now, it truly unique - and therefore the future events will be unique and unpredictable.
What do we do, if everyone is wrong?
- What if the tools we use to "predict" the future are wrong?
- What if technology is having an affect that is different than we expected?
- What if the pull from the market is not in sync with the push from "suppliers"?
- What if supply and demand curves no longer are relevant?
- What if "greying" of the market is having a much different affect than what we assumed?
- What if, what if, what if...
As with almost anything in life, there are multiple opinions out there about what is currently happening and what it means. Depending on your particular perspective, you will either agree or disagree with those opinions. And my opinions are always based upon my knowledge, my point of view and my assumptions - and each of those is based upon a thousand different aspects.
One thing I've noticed is that technology - from every area of life - has changed our world so much that we no longer have to wait for information or news, we can get it immediately via the internet, via 24-hour news stations, via email, etc. Every industry has changed, every aspect of our lives have been touched and technology has changed our "view" of the world.
So if technology has changed our view, isn't it logical to believe that it has also changed the rules, and therefore the underlying assumptions? The "rules" of yesterday don't always apply. If general "speed" of information has changed, doesn't that change how fact people react, how long they react, and the reaction to the reaction? 20 years ago, I might read how a specific exchange or stock when up or down - but I probably would have to sit down and figure out how that affected my "wealth". Today, I log onto a dozen web sites that tell me instantaneously the current stock price [even off hours] and what affect that has one my "wealth" - either standard brokerage or retirement. How does that new knowledge translate into "action and reaction".
I believe that past trends may provide some guidance, but only slightly. Yesterday's history [even from just a few years ago] are only guidance - because action and reaction is happening in both "automated" and "physical" activities. It's hard for me to logically think that the mass of information, speed of delivery and technology does not change the game to such an extent that historical data [and future trends] are only slightly helpful.
So, at the end of the day, I believe there is a much better opportunity for everyone [specficially experts] to be wrong rather than to be right.