The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- These are exciting times. There is great market volatility as investors phase in and out of panic/despair and speculators profit. But what is really important for investors has not changed: Western nations are still in a mess, while Africa, Asia and Latin America are relatively debt-free and continue to grow rapidly. You might argue that other factors matter, like changes in government policy and the earnings reports of individual companies. No doubt this information is important, but I am a believer in
Recent HappeningsThe world has come through a rough patch:
An Aside on Global Equity MarketsTable 3 provides data on the capitalization of selected stock markets. In every country, the holdings of residents far outweigh the holdings of foreigners. However, the determinants of prices are trades, and investors from the developed world are the dominant equity traders globally. So what has happened in emerging markets? The Westerners bought in 2009 and have sold more recently. Some of this trading was value driven, but as with other commodities, there has also been considerable speculative trading. Speculative trading has occurred in advanced equity markets as well, but the speculators will normally have less of an impact their because of their higher capitalizations.