Now that the Morgan Stanley index shows a worldwide loss of equity value of some $32 trillion, shares have corrected the entire 21st century rally which should never have taken place.

As I am one of the very few (perhaps the only one?) to have predicted oil at $50 when it was 130 and headed to nearly 150 (and the Russian view was that it was going to go to 250!), I am being asked: are we at or near the bottom?

Well, the S&P 500 of US stocks has crashed to its lowest in 11 years. London's Financial Times newspaper says that "It is now, without question, the worst bear market since the 1930s". But they mean in terms of percentage falls - I greatly doubt that the market will go back to 1930 levels, though it could (and probably will) go back to 1990 levels before finding its correct level. Will the market go lower than 1990 levels? It is possible. Whether it will happen depends on whether governments take seriously the sorts of measures I (and others) have been recommending.

Readers will remember that, in order to identify when we are near the bottom, I had given two signs to watch for in - oil at 50 and the G-20 meeting last week. Since the G-20 meeting disappointed, this is the natural result.

Prabhu Guptara