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Opinion
Tyler Cowen

American Pessimism Doesn’t Extend to Shorting the Market

Even investors who are skeptical about U.S. prospects are sticking with their portfolios.

What’s your position?

What’s your position?

Photographer: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP

“But are you short the market?” That is my favorite rejoinder to expressions of radical pessimism. It came to mind recently when I read an opinion piece suggesting that “the United States as we know it could come apart at the seams.”

I am sufficiently old-fashioned to think that you ought to put your money where your mouth is. The trouble is, I’ve never met a pessimist who will steadfastly short the market — or even lie about doing so.