Goldman Sachs CEO says he's concerned about stock-market euphoria stemming from retail investors

David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in 2017.

  • David Solomon told CNBC on Tuesday he’s concerned about euphoric activity in the stock market being driven by retail investors buying IPOs.
  • “I do think we’re at a moment in time where there’s a lot of euphoria. I personally am concerned about that. I don’t think in the long run that’s healthy,” the Goldman Sachs CEO said.
  • The euphoria was especially visible in the IPO market last week: Airbnb leapt 115% in its first day of trading, while DoorDash soared 86% following its debut. 
  • “There’s a lot of retail participation in a bunch of these IPOs,” Solomon added. “I think that’s something to watch, something to be cautious about.”
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David Solomon told CNBC on Tuesday he’s concerned about euphoric activity in the stock market that is being driven by retail investors buying IPOs.

” I do think we’re at a moment in time where there’s a lot of euphoria. I personally am concerned about that. I don’t think in the long run that’s healthy. I think it will rebalance over time as it always does,” the Goldman Sachs CEO said.

Euphoria was especially visible in the IPO market last week with two high-profile IPOs. Airbnb surged 115% during its public debut, while DoorDash soared 86% as it began trading. Those offerings defied many observers’ expectations, and Solomon isn’t alone in his concerns that the market is getting too hot. The Goldman chief executive sees retail activity spiking due to technology that’s made investing and trading more accessible.

“There’s a lot of retail participation in a bunch of these IPOs,” Solomon added. “I think that’s something to watch, something to be cautious about. I think a bunch of these are great businesses, but obviously, the market at the moment is pricing in, you know, perfect execution and enormous growth for a very long period of time. And my guess is there’ll be a rebalancing of that over time for sure.”

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The banking icon also said that the current stock market is appropriately looking forward and acknowledging that the pandemic will at one point be beyond us.

“There’s certainly been a meaningful recovery in the economy but there’s still a ways to go. I think we’ve replaced about 75% of the economic output that we lost when we shut down the economy in March and April and so I do think we see the light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Solomon added that the Fed’s policy actions in the beginning of the pandemic were necessary and staved off a situation that could have been much worse, but they’re not without consequences. Now, people are far out on the risk curve and that’s inflating asset prices, as seen in recent IPOs, Solomon said. 

“Cheap money has an impact,” said the CEO.