This is just the start of a nascent and broad trend toward much higher taxes, a growth-impeding and P/E-diminishing secular development.
The market optimism that we are now experiencing in the expectation of a clean handoff of the baton of stimulation from the consumer (2000-2006) to the government (2008-????) might be more short-lived than many believe, as the price of stimulation, regardless of whether it's source is the private or public sector, holds the promise of being more of a growth-retardant. With the debt super-cycle continuing apace (but in a public sector context), the fragility and inherently unstable "balance of financial terror" argues for a not-so-benign and extremely volatile stock market future.
Unquestionably, the animal spirits have been in full force as shorts are scrambling to cover and many more are joining the ever more vocal and growing bullish chorus. But to me, the margin of safety is becoming ever more thin as the enemy of the rational buyer -- namely, optimism -- reaches new heights.
In summary, since a self-sustaining economic recovery appears doubtful, I do not believe that we have started a new bull market. Rather, it is more than likely that economic growth will disappoint in late 2009/early 2010 as the domestic economy confronts many of the emerging secular challenges discussed above.Doug Kass writes daily for RealMoney Silver , a premium bundle service from TheStreet.com. For a free trial to RealMoney Silver and exclusive access to Mr. Kass's daily trading diary, please click here. At the time of publication, Kass and/or his funds had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.
Know what you own: Some of Monday's most active stocks at midday include Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), Ford (F), SPDRs (SPY), CIT Group (CIT), Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) and General Electric (GE).