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Jared Dillian

There's a Bull Market in Macro Doom

Bearish arguments are compelling because they sound smart. That’s what makes them seductive to novice investors.

Doom sells, but it’s never right.

Doom sells, but it’s never right.

Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images 

There is a genre of investment research that continuously predicts economic disaster that I call “macro doom.” It has become very popular. It seems that everyone is an expert in macroeconomics today, and they’re all predicting a bust of some kind.

There’s always something for this cohort to worry about, and these days it’s mainly about inflation and how prices of commodities will go to infinity due to shortages in just about every tradable raw material. Oil is a particular focus, with the macro doomers predicting a baseline of $200 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude or even much higher. Some are now starting to focus on agriculture, and there is open discussion on Twitter about an impending famine — in the U.S.!