Jeremy Grantham: This is a bubble, this is serious


the secret ingredient is making up shares you don’t have on your books and then selling them to a bunch of diamond hands. Then hiding them. But before that you have to make sure that as a prime broker, you have to leverage that. Plus as a MM, you have to leverage that even more through crypto, such as futures and synthetic assets (in some cases public companies) that the authorities can’t even check. Tie that into a market where prime brokers all own each other and MM’s at risk operate in every major world market and what you have is a bag bag of shit and almost everyone is left holding it. Of course, i need to include all dat monay we printing too… more than ever before.

dodgy ledgers, hiding losses. I’ve seen all the movies.

PB is just a centralised collection of services offered by most large banks so clients don’t have to deal with like 5 different desks. Think of it more like a TV bundle than a species of humanoid reptiles.

i think the main point is that the risk is centralized/consolidated.

I think concerns about risks are valid for those banks with the amount of leverage involved, but I don’t think it’s a big deal to the entire market.

Even the massive losses associated with Archegos were absorbed without further collapse as they had PB relationships with half the street (GS,MS,CS, UBS, Nomura, DB, MUFG etc…) who absorbed the losses. I imagine there have been significant review of risk management since.

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I would certainly hope so.

Sooo…3-4 months from end of May. Who’s selling everything in early August?

This is a great interview with a really interesting investor who has managed to call some of the largest bubbles in the last 40 years correctly.

Important to remember he’s mostly focussed on the US market when he says it’s in a bubble - valuations are extremely high, particularly in the largest US tech stocks which dominate indexes weighted by market cap at the moment. He seems a bit more sanguine about UK/Europe/Emerging Markets. I agree with him that the entire US market is overpriced (save perhaps oil stocks).

I also loved his comments on being early for the 2000 bubble. They called it in 98 or so, and were two years early on the collapse, which meant they lost half their client base (clients who never came back) as people saw others getting rich and dumped them just before the bubble imploded. Thankfully for retail investors being early isn’t as damaging as it is for asset managers.


As usual Grantham was a little early, but I think we can now definitively say he called this correctly.

The top in US equities came a few months after this call, Nov/Dec 2021, and since then we’ve been in a bear market, with some equities like SPACs losing 99%, and big tech companies like Tesla or Meta losing > 60% of their value, which is a huge drop.

Interesting that a few people (including Grantham) don’t believe this is over yet:

There will be upturns on the way down (we’re in another one now), but it is risky to move back into US stocks IMO at the moment.