In One Chart: AI is a ‘baby bubble’…for now, but a Fed ‘mistake’ could pop it, says Bank of America

by | May 19, 2023 | Stock Market

A meteoric rise in interest around artificial intelligence (AI) and related investments, has created a small bubble by historical measures, but one that’s still at risk of popping. That’s according to the Friday “Flow Show” note from Bank of America strategists led by Michael Hartnett, who are calling AI the “baby bubble” for now.

Investors have piled into chip maker Nvidia
NVDA,
-1.46%
which is up 116% so far this year. Founder and CEO Jensen Huang has predicted significant revenue from AI platforms in the next 12 months. Similar fervor has driven a 39% gain for shares of Alphabet
GOOGL,
+0.29%,
and helped push the tech giant back above the $1.5 trillion market-capitalization threshold. Microsoft
MSFT,
-0.39%,
which also has a stake in the AI game, has seen its stock surge by 32% this year. And then there’s C3.ai
AI,
-2.90%,
the enterprise software AI provider whose shares have exploded 144% higher this year. Still, as the below Bank of America chart shows, the growing AI bubble has nothing on bitcoin, or even the once-hot theme of biotech. But Hartnett and the team remind investors of one common thread that has run through all hot-then-not themes: “bubbles in right things (e.g. internet) and wrong things (e.g. housing) [are] always started by easy money, always ended by rate hikes.”

Hartnett and his team predicted that “new AI mania,” alongside 5% inflation, 3% unemployment and 7% budget deficits in 2023 means the biggest “pain trade” in the next 12 months will be a fed-funds rate at 6%, not 3%. Most investors who are counting on Federal Reserve interest rate cuts in coming months, which is helping to drive stock markets
SPX,
-0.19%
higher, could get blindsided by another rate hike. The analysts said that machine learning is basically inflationary because there is “no way politicians in 2020s would allow AI to cause widespread unemployment, even if transitory.” Should companies follow in the path of BT
BT.A,
+3.02%,
which this week revealed plans to cut 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade in a shift to AI and automation, “expect regulation and/or another push for universal basic income policies, funded either by windfall taxation of corporations and/or Fed yield curve control to fund bigger and bigger government budget deficits,” said the strategist. Indeed, Goldman Sachs warned this week that AI could deliver major long-term supp …

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always started by easy money, always ended by rate hikes.”

Hartnett and his team predicted that “new AI mania,” alongside 5% inflation, 3% unemployment and 7% budget deficits in 2023 means the biggest “pain trade” in the next 12 months will be a fed-funds rate at 6%, not 3%. Most investors who are counting on Federal Reserve interest rate cuts in coming months, which is helping to drive stock markets
SPX,
-0.19%
higher, could get blindsided by another rate hike. The analysts said that machine learning is basically inflationary because there is “no way politicians in 2020s would allow AI to cause widespread unemployment, even if transitory.” Should companies follow in the path of BT
BT.A,
+3.02%,
which this week revealed plans to cut 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade in a shift to AI and automation, “expect regulation and/or another push for universal basic income policies, funded either by windfall taxation of corporations and/or Fed yield curve control to fund bigger and bigger government budget deficits,” said the strategist. Indeed, Goldman Sachs warned this week that AI could deliver major long-term supp …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]

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