Equity Risk Premium: Bullish or Bearish IndicatorVW Staff
If you have been following my blog postings, you are probably aware that I have an obsession with equity risk premiums (ERP), and have done an annual survey paper on the topic every year since 2008 (with the 2013 update here). I also post a monthly update for the ERP for the S&P 500 at the start of the month on my website. As a consequence, my attention was drawn to a post by Fernando Duarte and Carlo Rosa, economists at the Fed in New York, on the topic. They argue that equity risk premiums are at historic highs, primarily because the US treasury rates are low, and note that these high equity risk premiums are a precursor to good stock returns in the future. I don’t disagree with their authors that equity risk premiums are high, relative to history and that the low risk free rate is in large part responsible these large premiums, but I am less sanguine about using the ERP as a market timing device, especially at this time in history.
What is the ERP?
A Fed-engineered ERP?