Dive into the archives.


  • 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 [...]

  • Waiting for Salvation or Damnation in a Stock Downturn

    Remember the sound of a falling tree in an un-peopled forest? Watching its price as a stock plummets in the absence of corporate explanation might echo the same sound: if the clamor from retail investors were not so loud! Recently, I’ve been studying equity message-boards in relation to investors’ management of anxiety as stocks descend [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • The Dynamics of Public Blame: BP (and Groupon)

    I’ll be discussing the dynamics of blame and BP at the weekly case conference of the William Alanson White Institute, NYC; on February 22 at 10 AM. Here’s the announcement: February 22, 2011 – Blaming BP: Examining the Psychodynamics of Blame Ian Miller, Ph.D., NYU Postdoc & WAWI Org. Prog. The psychodynamics of blame will [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • What’s Really Happening in the Market….

    If you’re paying attention to the media commentary, you’re chock full of the knowledge that a) the green shoots of recovery are harbingers of new global hope; b) we are in an extended bear rally; c) the strength of the market is based on our reduced expectations; d) we are approaching another roller-coaster dip, after [...]

  • On Not Wanting To Know

    The tragedy that becomes indifference begins with an unexamined difficulty of human capacity awash in information. There are too many details to understand. We take in what we can tolerate, mark it in its importance to us at the moment, and move on. There is just so much any one of us can absorb. While [...]

  • What Banks Know

    Some years ago, before Depression panic gripped the world, I had the opportunity to consult with several members of the banking industry. Each was involved in an obscure area of work, destined to become headline news within a few years. And whether discussing complex derivative trades or the structuring of collateralized debt obligation tranches, each [...]

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