At the start of last year, with global and Australian shares down around 20% from their April/May 2015 highs, the big worry was that the global economy was going back into recession and that there will be another Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Now, with share markets having had a strong run higher, it seems to have been replaced by worries that a crash is around the corner and this will give us the global recession and new GFC that we missed last year!
Australians seem particularly vulnerable to worries these days. On the weekend I read that Australians are suffering from an “epidemic of anxiety” and that out of a survey of 24 nations Australians ranked in the upper half in terms of worries about a health epidemic (9th highest), a terrorist attack (8th highest) and a nuclear attack (5th highest) – way above South Korea in terms of the latter despite Kim Jong-un’s new found nuclear capability just across the border! And a Roy Morgan survey has found that only 31% of surveyed Australians expect next year to be a better year than 2017, which is the lowest on record and only just above the 30% who expect next year to be worse.