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Moods and Markets: A New Way to Invest in Good Times and in Bad by Peter Atwater

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6. Signs of a Bottom in Social Mood

During the 2008 banking crisis, David Rosenberg, then chief economist of Merrill Lynch (and now chief economist of Gluskin Sheff), offered, “Bear markets don’t end in hope; they end in despair.” I held on to this quote because it ran counter to what I believed at the time and to what I believe most investors still think. Yet it’s all too true. If self-assured certainty and overreaching are experienced at the top, then self-assured uncertainty, along with a dire sense of futility and hopelessness, must accompany the bottom.

You would think then that the characteristics of bottoms in social mood and confidence would simply be the opposite of what we witness at the top; that Big Truths would instead be seen as ...

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