Re: Two financial thought contagion papers now online

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 00:22:36 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Two financial thought contagion papers now online
    Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 16:22:36 -0800
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    >Subject: Re: Two financial thought contagion papers now online
    >Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 20:26:29 +0100
    >On 22 Feb 2002, at 7:05, Grant Callaghan wrote:
    > > So why do normally rational people make irrational decisions in the face
    > > advice to the contrary and end up losing most or all of their
    > > wealth?
    >The thing is that there is no rationality or any real logic in the stock
    >market. So every advice is subjective. When you compare different
    >analysis from different institutes you get the whole range of
    >reconmendations in most cases. There's the trend to buy things
    >when the analysis is good. A company publishes excellent
    >numbers - people sell. What makes the stock market different from
    >a lottery game is that there are people who know more than the
    >others and people who push or bash.
    >Thought contagnions and memetic influence is no mere
    >coincidence in the stock market. Smart investors use it to
    >influence the market for their own profit.
    I remember that even the authoritarian advice of Alan Greenspan about
    "irrational exuberance" was laughed at not long before the bubble burst.
    Someone even wrote a book making fun of his catch phrase. A few months
    later, it wasnt' funny anymore. But logic says the stock market only does
    two things: it goes up and it goes down -- sequentially. It's a
    self-correcting mechanism that always over-corrects before it stabilizes.
    The past history of the market demonstrates this trend over and over during
    the past hundred years. But irrational exuberance is stronger than data and
    that hope that beats eternal within the human breast takes on religious
    overtones of belief in the ponzi scheme of an over-subscribed market. The
    most common term for it is "The Greater Fool" theory. This implies that one
    can always find a greater fool to sell inflated stocks to. Sounds a lot
    alike the mantra of the lottery ticket buyer: "You can't win if you don't
    buy a ticket."


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