By Elliott Wave International
Suppose you see a lovely house — one with great curb appeal. It has new paint and manicured shrubbery out front.
But also suppose that you look more closely. You press your thumb on the window sill and the wood frame crumbles in. Come to find out, the wood is rotten in too many places to count. The deck joists and supports are fractured. Even the terrain underneath the deck looks unstable. And the closer you look the worse the problems are.
It’s obvious that very few people would buy that house. Yet you can be pretty sure that the home’s owner will have "good things" to say about the place.
Likewise, today’s stock market has plenty of cheerleaders — even as the rot spreads throughout the economy. Real estate and homebuilding sector alike continue to decline in the wake of the mortgage meltdown. Municipalities continue to have growing budget problems. We’re not talking about a "small town" bankruptcy, either. An Oct. 12 Reuters headline reads:
"Harrisburg, Pa., Files for Bankruptcy Protection." The story goes on to say that "The Pennsylvania state capital faces a $300 million debt crises…"
This Oct. 12 headline is from Bloomberg: "California Kids Face Days Without School as Revenue Gap Imperils Education." It continues: "Public schools in California…are bracing for a $1.7 billion cut that may wipe out high-school sports and student busing, and trim the academic calendar by seven days next year."
The economic problems run much deeper and wider than these stories can reflect — yet they are indeed today’s stories. The capital of one of our biggest states is filing for bankruptcy? That should serve as an alarm. Then again, the market is rallying just weeks after the downgrade of U.S. Treasury debt.
So when will optimistic financial investors wake-up to reality?
"At some point in the trend toward negative social mood, fear, and then panic, will bring to light the risks that people today are ignoring. Global credit deterioration is objectively real; but disaster will strike only when it becomes subjectively realized."
Elliott Wave Theorist, September 2011
Collective psychology could "catch up" to the objective economic reality sooner than later.
Will you be prepared when the economic reality hits?
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This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline A Rising Market Won’t Stop the "Economic Rot" Beneath. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.