Gatsby had his green light and Hunter had his wave. What, if anything, will we look back on from the clear elevation of the S&P high? The journey back from the economic abyss has been boring and bland. Sporadic bursts in volatility; packaged as harbingers of a return to the void, blossom and fade with regularity impressing only the army of reporters deployed to alert us of impending carnage.
The apex of the credit super-cycle stares back at a post-bust generation slowly coming to terms with the reality that it will not " run faster or stretch its arms out farther." The energy of the generation ignites no spark or "long fine flash." Five years later, "with the right kind of eyes," you can see nothing but a number. 1680. Repeat it enough and context it as to when last visited and some Golden Age of Americana is supposed to stir your soul.
Lost in the fog of the faux numeric victory dance are the dashed hopes of " a universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, and we were winning." What we were doing was paying back two generations before us that had suffered the terror of war and the theft of inflation with the greatest economic advance of modern time. We wanted more, and we designed a financial system to deliver it. And then it imploded.
So, we find ourselves at "new market highs" thinking not about some bright dawn but pondering the greatness that somehow escaped us when last these numbers flashed across the screens. No longer "boats against the current," we are deckhands on The Flying Dutchman, empty, unfeeling, not dead but not truly alive.