The Story of the U.S. Stock Market (S&P 500) in One Chart from 1975 to 2035:
The Chart above tells the story of the United States Stock Market (as represented by the S&P 500 index) from 1975 to 2035.
Baby Boomers are the largest demographic group in the United States born around 1946 to 1960, right after World War II.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Baby Boomers were in their Peak Earning Years and they earned, consumed, spent, and invested for their retirement. This was helped in 1995 by an increase in the Money Supply, and the Printing Money Started leading to Fed Chief Alan Greenspan to proclaim that there is 'Irrational Exuberance'. This finally lead to the peak of the Tech Bubble in the year 2000.
The Tech Bubble and Dot-Com Bubble burst, and interest rates remained low, and with loans being very easy to get (including no downpayment loans, and no proof of income), the housing market started its ascent into the stratosphere ending in the 2007-2009 Housing Bubble Peak and Burst.
The market tried to recover, thanks to Fed Chief's Ben Bernanke policies keeping interest rates very low, and printing money with three rounds of Quantitative Easing (QE1, QE2, QE3). This occurred in conjunction President Obama's increased spending and stimulus plans following the Keynesian way of spending government money to get out of a recession.
We are currently now in the Debt Bubble (consumer debt, state and local debt, international debt, and federal government debt where the U.S. Federal government owes $16 Trillion dollars amounting to over 100% of GDP, and this amount is continuing to grow), a Spending Bubble, and a Government Bubble. These bubbles will eventually burst.
And starting in 2011, the Baby Boomers are starting to retire, and the Aging Population starts to put pressure on the economy. The dependency ratio (65 years and older and 0-15 years old to the total population) is going to increase through the years, adding to the burden, and hindering economic growth.
In addition, since the United States Debt to GDP Ratio is now 100% and growing, there will be a long term debt overhang. There is a study by Carmen Reinhart (Peterson Institute for International Economics, NBER, CEPR), Vincent Reinhart (Morgan Stanley) and Kenneth Rogoff (from Harvard University and NBER) that shows those cases in history where debt to GDP exceeded 90%, experienced suboptimal growth lasting an average of 23 years.
There are many signs pointing to continued economic stagnation, decline, and possibly recession and depression over the next twenty to thirty years (2032-2042).