Chapter 22. 2005: Giving It Time

"You should sell stocks only if you foresee trouble other people don't foresee; don't sell in fear of trouble that everyone else is already anticipating. The only reason for a defensive posture, in other words, is perceiving risks that are little noticed."

"That Wall of Worry," May 9, 2005

"Real bubbles are never commonly referred to as bubbles in the press until after they've burst.... When something is commonly labeled a bubble that hasn't burst that means there is fear of it. There is little or no fear of a real bubble. Fear, priced into markets, reduces risk."

"Bubblenomics," July 4, 2005

Politics were in full swing in 2005. But not so much here in the US as abroad. We inaugurated President George W. Bush for his second term, but bigger changes were happening overseas.

In Japan, the world's second-largest economy after the US, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi dissolved the lower house of parliament after a measure to privatize Japan's postal system (which serves as a post office, life insurer, and the world's largest bank by assets) was voted down in Japan's upper house. In the general election that followed, Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won an overwhelming majority, gaining enough seats to override the upper house's vote. This referendum was seen by many as an important step in initiating much-needed pro-growth economic reforms in Japan (unfortunately, many failed to materialize). The LDP maintained its supermajority in the upper house ...

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