The folks at The Economist are back at it. Makes it look pretty hopeless, doesn’t it?
Magazine covers are contrary indicators. They reflect the notion that, by the time the editor approves a cover story, he or she has to be convinced in his or her own mind that such a cover is going to boost readership. That’s not likely until the popular conscience is on high alert. And by that time the smart money is long gone. In fact, the weak hands are just as likely to sell their shares to the smart money.
This isn’t to suggest that the problems with Europe are past, just that the performance of European investments might be set to reverse–at least for a while. In fact, you should read the article, but the cover story should alert you to the possibility that now is not the time to bail out. One should get a better chance to do that later.
Here’s a look at the EMU index. The downtrend has been established since late 2009, and the index is off by 50%.
You might not have noticed it at first, but there’s a highlight on the front cover that bears a comment: “Why gold has probably peaked.” If that included some attention-getting picture and consumed the front cover, it would probably be a signal to go out and buy gold. One thing that popular magazines are not good at doing is divining the end of a trend, and you could say that gold has been in a trend. That The Economist thinks the trend is over is not likely to put an end to it.