Monday, April 03, 2017

Making American Equities Great

It was only six years ago that Standard & Poors downgraded U.S. Treasury debt to AA+ because of government failure to "stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics."

S&P was right about where the national debt was headed: it was nearly $15 trillion in 2011 and is $20 trillion today.

(Economist graph)
Investors worldwide shrugged off the downgrade; since 2011 they've been buying U.S. financial assets hand over fist. In fact the American stock market is worth more than the rest of the world combined:
the American market has a weighting of 54% in the [MSCI All Country World] index, as high as it has ever been (it reached the same level in 2002).
By traditional standards the 54% weighting seems much too high because the U.S. economy comprises less than 25% of the world's GDP. Nevertheless, the combination of overall safety and a chance to participate in leading global companies like Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, Exxon, Facebook, and Google are hard to pass up.

U.S. bonds may have lost their lustre, but riskier American equities are looking pretty great.

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