How many times has the format of baseball been applied to bull markets? More times than one can count, for sure. Why is this? Well, most people understand that a game of baseball has 9 innings, for whatever reason, and us this to describe how far along we are in a bull market or business cycle or credit cycle. Here is a gripe with that usage.
We are living and breathing in the second longest bull market in modern times. For this reason it should be proposed that we are in extra innings. For reference, the longest professional baseball game lasted 33 innings. The Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox were scheduled to play nine on April 18th, 1981, but they ended up playing into Easter.
Many unusual factors played into this game-much like the market we play in today. For one, the wind was so strong coming from the outfield that a fly ball left the park only to return in mid air for a center fielder catch. This occurred more than once, so the story goes. “Don’t fight The Fed” comes to mind here. No matter how hard you push back, the powers that be have the upper hand. It has forced many managers to adapt to an unusual, if not artificial, market.
The game went on longer than most could last leaving only 19 in the stands and the market can stay irrational longer than most can stay solvent. The last 19 standing received lifetime tickets to the stadium; a testament that those who hang in there generally get rewarded. So, instead of the bottom of the 8th or top of the 9th, it seems as if we’re somewhere in the 27th as this may become the longest bull market in modern history.