In Wall Street Revalued, Andrew Smithers argues that the Federal Reserve was wrong on both counts and that these errors were the major cause of the current recession and financial crisis. He shows how investors and central banks can value assets, so that incipient bubbles can be identified and a repetition of today’s problems avoided.
Indifference to overvalued asset prices by investors, central banks and much of the financial press is the root cause of the current crisis. Bubbles in stock markets, house prices and financial assets cause huge damage when they fall, not only to their owners, but also to the world economy. An understanding of how to value assets is therefore vital for managing the economy as well as for investors.
Wall Street Revalued explains how assets can be valued and shows how much incorrect and inaccurate information is published on the subject and how to spot this. Among investment bankers and financial journalists the two most common claims to value are, as Andrew shows, unadulterated nonsense. One of these is that "Shares are cheap given the level of current (or forecast) PE multiples" and the other is that "Shares are cheap relative to interest rates".
Andrew also explains how asset prices affect the economy and how central banks lose their ability to stabilise it when bubbles collapse. The denial that markets can be valued has caused great damage. Markets are not perfectly efficient, nor are they are irrational casinos. This book sets out a new model for understanding the limited efficiency of financial markets, which is the key condition for improving investment and economic management today.
About the author:
Andrew Smithers is the founder of Smithers & Co., which provides economics-based asset allocation advice to over 100 fund management companies worldwide. Andrew is a regular contributor in Japan to the Nikkei Veritas. He was a regular contributor to the London Evening Standard and Japan's Sentaku magazine, and has written for many other newspapers and magazines, including the Financial Times, Forbes (US), Sunday Telegraph (UK), Independent on Sunday (UK) and Genron (Japan). Andrew is an invited contributor to the prestigious Economist's Forum on the FT website.
Andrew is a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for International Macroeconomics and Finance (CIMF) at Cambridge and has also been a member of the Investment Committee at Clare College, Cambridge since 1998.
Prior to starting his own firm, Andrew was at S.G.Warburg & Co. Ltd. from 1962 to 1989 where he ran the investment management business for some years and which, by the end of his tenure, was the acknowledged market leader. This was subsequently floated off as a separate company, Mercury Asset Management, which was acquired by Merrill Lynch in 1998.