Scott Minerd is the Chief Investment Officer at Guggenheim Partners. Guggenheim Partners manages over $125 Billion in Assets for very wealthy clients. I’ve always been impressed with Scott’s Macro Economic ideas and value his opinion greatly. Scott has recently released an article entitled “The Triumph of Optimism.” I’ve just finished reading the article and believe its one of the better reads on perspectives for 2012. Here is a snippet from the article:
To conclude, the current environment reminds me of a story from the European exchange rate crisis in 1992. I was in Rome working on the restructuring of Italy’s Eurobond debt. At the time, Italy was in big trouble and there was no promise that it could reestablish itself as a credible capital markets borrower—the prospect of an IMF bailout was very real. In the thick of our work with the Italian government, I walked through the famed Roman Forum with several people from the Italian Treasury. I was taken aback by their relative calmness and felt compelled to compliment one of the government officials on his composure throughout the crisis. I’ll never forget his answer, as he coolly replied, “Scott, look around. Rome has been here for over 2,000 years. The sun will come up tomorrow.”
His words remind me that over the course of history there is a certain triumph of optimism. Betting against the column of progress of human history and the innovation of mankind has always proven to be a losing proposition. Yes, in the short run, there are times to become cautious, as the past five years have exemplified. But a stopped clock is correct for only a brief moment before time marches on. Circumstances change; markets are cyclical. Broad-based economic expansion and its attendant outsize investment returns follow contraction and panic just as the day follows the night. As dark as the current environment may seem, the sun will come up tomorrow. When it does, I believe it will shine favorably on the optimists of today.