CLIENTS, colleagues and even family members keep asking the same question: “Why have stocks decoupled from the economy?” These are not people who obsess over the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet or spend time with the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s birth-death model. They just want to know what’s going on in the stock market.
AT A RECENT EVENT in New York City, I chatted with a money manager whose presentation had impressed me. At least, I was impressed until he uttered one of those hackneyed phrases that just make me flinch. This is an occupational hazard in the world of economic and market commentary. Any of us can lapse into lazy shorthand. But it is something best avoided: Use of trite or clichéd formulations neither reflects well on us, nor does it show respect for the reader or listener.