a (very) simple sketch
I can’t recall a more complex, hard to read, time in the stock market than the present. There have certainly been more panicky times–like October 1987 or early 2000 or late 2008. But all of these, however frightening, were about financial markets building a speculative house of cards which ultimately collapsed of its own weight. The basic framework in which the game was played remained more or less the same: continuously declining interest rates, the growth of multinational companies, revolutionary developments in computer technology, the shift in developed economies from laborers to knowledge workers, continuing dominance of the US economy.
what has changed?
–the Internet is here, with its attendant powerful hardware (servers, smartphones) and software (the cloud, Amazon, Facebook… e-commerce, information, entertainment) devices
–the aging–and, ex the US, increasing lifespans–of the populations of developed economies
–ultra-low interest rates, negative in parts of Europe
–the rise of China, and to a much lesser extent, India as global economic powers
–most recently, the Huawei moment, sort of like Sputnik, when the US realizes that a Chinese company is producing more advanced/ less expensive cutting-edge telecom equipment than it can
–fracturing of belief in the invisible hand aka trickle-down economics, the (ultimately religious/Enlightenment philosophical) belief that individuals acting in their own self-interest somehow create the best possible outcome, both for the world as a whole and for each individual. This fracturing fuels the rise of the radical right in the US and Europe, I think.