Bloomberg columnist Matthew Lynn claims that the next bubble–now that oil, commodities, and BRC are played out–will be in some rather old-school places. According to Lynn,
…bubbles come in…places, industries, financing, (and) currencies…
First, the place: Old Europe. Forget about the BRICs. The next decade will belong to the FIGs — France, Italy and Germany. After the credit crunch, their mix of stable, export-led, self-financing growth will look more attractive than the debt-fueled U.K. and U.S. models.
Next, the industry: automobiles. It has been almost a century since we last witnessed a gold rush in cars, suggesting it’s high time for a replay.
How about the financial bubble? That will be stockbroking. There are now thousands of companies with shattered balance sheets from the credit crunch. They need advisers who have strong relationships with investors and can raise money for their clients by selling shares.
The currency bubble will involve the dollar. The weak dollar will spark an export boom. Pretty soon we’ll be describing the U.S. as the new Germany — an export-led, manufacturing economy, held back only by the reluctance of its consumers to spend money.
He goes on to claim that the rich will be investing in private islands, leading to a luxury bubble.
Lynn has certainly addressed investments that look volatile and counterintuitive right now. Who knows, he could be right about some of these claims. I keep an eye on the sustainable energy movement, which for the time being appears to be growing more organically than something characterizing a bubble. I’m waiting for a technological tipping point or tweak in government policy to change this.
Where do you think the next bubble will be?