This short post is a Fall 2020 update to its two predecessors — Markets and the year(s) ahead: Post-digital edition (December 2018) and Markets and the year(s) ahead: Digital edition (January 2017) — which collectively set the stage.
- The economic and financial market decoupling isn’t a true separation but rather a timing issue, which runs parallel to a decoupling of market liquidity (technicals, near-term) and intrinsic value (fundamentals, long-term).
- The current market is dominated by the former (i.e., money flows), the noise and tumult of which overshadows business analysis and economic undercurrents, given the directness and relative immediacy of money stimulus on money activity (versus economic activity, which may respond in consequence).
- Market signals are near-term and shouldn’t be mistaken for a long-term vote on business fundamentals or guidance for strategic direction, although the conflation is not uncommon in enterprise.
- Long-term value is impacted by near-term business investment, which may in turn be limited or enhanced by funding access — the tone of which is set by market sentiment (near-term, as mentioned).
- Price movements are more likely than not to be governed by gamesmanship and game theory, whereas long-term value formation is driven by relative fundamentals.
- The series of near-term swings eventually catches up with the long-term opportunity (realized or missed, depending), and market inefficiencies in the meanwhile are a function of both the magnitude of the gap and the length of time to its correction.
- Business fundamentals are increasingly network fundamentals, and market technicals (liquidity and flows) are increasingly determined by network clusters that grow or shrink, as the market is itself a large and multi-layered network.
As mentioned elsewhere before, the markets are always still speaking.
Interpreting the networks (2017)
Reinterpreting the networks (2020)