Monday, December 10, 2007

Heads Up: The Next Bubble

Naw, not yet. The pools of hot money are so monstrously large that we're seeing extensions of both magnitude and duration. Here's the story from Forbes:

Where to find the next market meltdown? Perhaps half a world away. Some fund managers believe that emerging market stocks, which have provided great returns (39.5% annually since 2002), are perilously overvalued.

No question, countries like China, India, Brazil and Russia are growing much faster than the developed world and are likely to do so for a while--with GDP growth rates of 5% to 11% a year, compared with 3% for the U.S. But there are worrisome signs that the run-up is fueled, in part, by just the sort of speculative money that typically presages a collapse.

Foreign direct investment is still cascading into these countries: $213 billion this year, the Institute of International Finance estimates. Total assets under management for emerging markets hedge funds jumped eightfold in the four years through September to $269.5 billion, estimates Lipper Tass Asset Flows Report. Even that lowballs the true amount by $50 billion or so, reckons Lipper senior analyst Ferenc Sanderson, given that global and other hedge funds are also dumping money into these regions....MORE