Dive into the archives.


  • Lack of demand and the destruction of self-esteem

      Just having finished my earlier post, “Psycho-Economic Depression“, I came upon this by Fritz Schumacher, from “Small is Beautiful” (pages 203-204). It seemed to fit: If the nature of change is such that nothing is left for the fathers to teach their sons, or for the sons to accept from their fathers, family life [...]

  • The Markets’ Increasing Dread

    It has been a few weeks since the “resolution” of the US debt crisis. And there has been a cascading erosion of public confidence as unemployment, diminished growth and “Japanization” in Europe and the US, increasing dangers of Eurodebt sans Eurobonds have correlated with a 16% drop in the S&P ( a measure of convenience). [...]

  • June 2011: Depleted in America

    It is lonely in America. Sometimes, of course, our loneliness is stuffed full of self-satisfaction; but it often plummets in depletion to despair and confusion. These too are lonely states. From Reisman’s “The Lonely Crowd” to Lasch’s “Culture of Narcissism”, a trajectory of social development was begun with two recent contributions weighing in from the [...]

  • Emotions, Expectations, and Equity Message Boards

    Given that the annual trajectory of individual equities describes a bell-shaped price-curve reflective of aggregated emotions and expectations, there is a fascinating local development as passions and prices approach the tantalizingly underpriced (or overpriced) tails: the online message boards dedicated to individual stocks become the setting of passionate argument and diatribe reflecting the blood-sport of [...]

  • Equities and the Time Value of Emotion

    A commonplace in Finance I is the “time value of money”- the idea that future worth may be discounted to the present moment. But looking at the oscillation of stocks over a given time-period, spanning a universe of daily volatility unknowable in any discrete “present”, it makes you wonder about an equity’s present “value”. What [...]

  • Titanic Flaw in Reality Testing

    Reporting on Davos, Simon Johnson presents a grim picture of CEO reality.  What is even grimmer is that it lines up squarely with Gillian Tett’s report last week on the need, among CEO’s for therapeutic bonding, with Davos as group therapy. The incursion of clinical psychology into the world of corporate finance is insidious. It [...]

  • It Had Been Awhile and then: Paul Valery

    Blogging friends had warned me that my early enthusiasms would wane. “You’ll stop writing one day,” they said. “There are more addresses out there than there are bloggers.” Ghost writers, or perhaps Zombie sites. And they were right. Consulting projects and teaching assignments claimed my attention. Until, one day, last week, it occurred to me [...]

  • Making Sense of This Non-Depression

    Woke up this morning to the radio announcer’s chirp confirming that the Recession was over and that most economists agreed. OK, it won’t be reflected in employment statistics, and there will be a lot of people out of work, but things are good. We’ll see by the Third Quarter. The S&P is over 900, the [...]

  • “The International”: Debriefing the Movies

    A movie review: sometimes, the irreality of the movie is enough to provide a moment’s respite from the irrealities of daily life. The International is like that. Its about the unwinding of a super-intelligent plot by fiendish banks to dictate international politics. Ok, that’s banal enough: especially when Goldman Sachs says it’ll repay TARP loans [...]

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