"History doesn't repeat itself -- at best, it sometimes rhymes."
-- Mark Twain
I have been of the belief that history demonstrates that the world's leaders rise up at times of crisis.
While history rhymes, I remain hopeful that 2012 will not rhyme with 2008.I hope we are not disappointed (again) this time. Fortunately, against this backdrop, investors' economic and market expectations are muted, and many classes of investors have de-risked. Valuations remain low and risk premiums remain high. Also, the fall in commodities (especially of an energy kind) remains a positive as does generational low interest rates in the U.S. Unfortunately, valuations fail as a timing tool, and one of the reasons behind lower commodities is reduced demand. Tactically (over the near term), I plan to continue to err on the side of conservatism in my trading and investing in a summer market likely characterized by choppiness and the absence of a trend.