The worry is not so much for best-of-breed organizations that can navigate these dangerous waters adeptly. Instead, it is the fringe firms willing to take excessive risk and believing in their own infallibility that merit concern. This must be monitored carefully. But there is not much of that going on. So once again we must have faith in corporate self control; a bit unsettling to say the least. As stimulus dollars (and yen and yuan and euros) pour into economies there is a tendency to conduct business as if these matters are inconsequential.
Here’s the bright side: There have been encouraging changes in the marketplace; valuations of capital assets including real estate have become more realistic. Leverage is lower. And so the atmosphere that existed when Lehman collapsed is a bit more sober.
See Video: Lessons from Lehman
As an investor, be aware. Question your actions and motivations. Do you remember the pain of losses from 6 months ago? Are you looking at valuations and how they match up with current state of the economy? Are you investing with a belief that you might be wrong? Are you more cautious than is warranted given your time horizon? Are you being too aggressive and banking on everything going just right?
And so the ghost of Lehman haunts us still. Frightening, real, and alarmingly still present in other forms; under new names. The world's economies simply cannot take another shakedown brought on by recklessness and excessive hope.