I was thinking about the issue of "getting the public back in the market". I don't think it's an issue to worry about. The mainstream public hasn't participated in the markets in over 10 years and I've still made money.
I flip flop on the regulation issues. I guess things are about as good as it gets. HFT's provide the individual investor with prices we couldn't have dreamed of years ago. The market is less efficient than ever(ironically). What would Burton Malkiel say today lol! I thought stocks were always "priced properly" lol.
Too much focus on the 'stock market' and not enough on the underlying economy.
If mainstream public abandoning markets, it may point to a future of these same folks abandoning their historical level of retail purchasing as well.
The PPT can step in and support stock prices for an undefined period of time but the level of real underlying economic activty is a different beast altogether.
So the question is: Can the PPT continue to prop up the market as much as before if fundamentals continue to deteriorate?
At some point, I hold to the belief that the economic fundamentals always end up being reflected in stock prices and given that standards of living are stagnant and not likely to improve given economic policies that are misguided at best, I just don't see much reason to expect a bull market.
Might be different if the US were a nation that had a higher ratio of exports as a share of its GDP since that would allow it to take advantage of a weaker currency.
As to a stronger currency, no wonder The Bernank is busy trying to keep lots of USD's in circulation but all that does is help maintain the current levels of (nominal) economic activity.
Meanwhile, such monetary policy hurts consumers' and the nation's purchasing power and that applies to a higher ratio of imports as a share of GDP.