Exuberancia semirracional

En 1996, el economista de Yale Robert Shiller miró a su alrededor, sopesó los registros históricos y concluyó que el mercado de valores estadounidense estaba sobrevaluado. En el pasado, siempre que las relaciones entre precio y ganancias eran altas, los retornos de las acciones futuras de largo plazo eran bajos. Sin embargo, ahora los precios del índice amplio S&P 500 son 29 veces el promedio de las ganancias de la última década.

En base a los análisis de regresión econométrica realizados por Shiller y John Campbell, de Harvard, Shiller predijo en 1996 que el S&P 500 sería una mala inversión durante la década siguiente. Argumentó que en la década que terminaría en enero de 2006, caería el valor real del S&P 500. Incluso incluyendo los dividendos, su estimación de los retornos probables ajustados a la inflación a los inversionistas de acciones del S&P 500 era cero, muy por debajo del cerca del 6% anual real que hemos llegado a considerar como típico del mercado de valores estadounidense.

Los argumentos de Shiller eran convincentes. Persuadieron a Alan Greenspan a dar su famoso discurso de la “exuberancia irracional” en el American Enterprise Institute en diciembre de 1996. Ciertamente me convencieron a mí también.

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