Investing in the Real Economy?

I thought this was going to be more comforting than it turned out to be. Although, I have to say that it’s a lot more comforting now that I’ve added today’s market close.

GDP and Total Stock Market Capitalization in Real Billions of Dollars

This is a lot less comforting.

Total Stock Market Capitalization as % of GDP

Total market cap as a percent of GDP has reached its lowest level since 1995. But 1995 seems to mark the beginning of some different valuation paradigm. Why? What changed? Is it a real change, or the beginning of what’s now ending?

GDP data from the BEA, total stock market capitalization is from the US Census Bureau, except for today’s number which I extrapolated from the end of Q2-08 amount using the change in the Wilshire 5000 index.