Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Stock Markets: Another Three Ring Circus Of Make Believe

Where no one is ever certain of how much, or for how long, you can believe in anything you've made yourself believe in, over the past whatever number of quarters, because it is, after all, still a game of perception in an ever increasing blizzard of useful, and not useful, information. With the information creators going out of their way to make that blizzard even more contradictory and confusing, at ever greater speeds of course, always.

And this whole, traditional rigamarole around inflation and wages. My god. When are they going to admit that they don't have a clue any more if wages have anything to do with the traditional relationship to prices and productivity. And they have admitted as much by indicating the recent controversy over whether the Phillips Curve means anything any more. Especially now that labor has been totally defeated as a prime center of organized power.

The fact of the matter is that there is just so much ability to invest now. Great heaping numbers of counters spread across large numbers of investment decision makers that are all under always increasing pressure to do something with those numbers; because they gain little just sitting there. And the question is always what exactly when the volatility is always so unpredictable in any of the old hard copy markets. Which is why, certainly, so many are choosing to move away from hard copy altogether (remember, money has become like electrons themselves in circuits, always seeking the path of least resistance), which of course, only makes trying to figure out any of the old relationships that much harder still.

Most particularly now, in my opinion, is just how much, in a modern information age, investment itself might be fueling inflation. Or how much real, total efficacy, productivity wise, investment here, or there, might have. And in that vein you have to start asking yourself, with the immense sums being made in everything software, where there is no hard copy to worry about, only the ever increasing numbers of people buying into what are the biggest returns on investment in this area: either you just try to crunch numbers (faster than the other guys, with better algorithms) to gain insights as to how to game traditional commodities, or stock markets, so as to create more numbers, or you invest in anything that comes to workout as a new, VR fueled, totally absorbing, addiction. But that too might just be another part of my bias showing through. As well as the fact that I'm no expert.

What you really have to wonder about any more is if any of them are experts anymore when the whole mess has mutated beyond anybody's ability to be an expert. And for reasons they don't have the new rosetta stone with which to translate with. They are, after all, pretty much still trying to interpret things from the perspective of Marshall McLuhan's "rear view mirror"  perspective vis a vie our new electrified environment, as opposed to old industry and finance.

I for one do not hold out much hope that they will ever be able to work the levers of control any more, even if you believe they ever had that control in the first place.

World markets tumble again as losses hit $4 trillion in 8 days




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[Post Note: And now the best we can get from economists is a lot of head scratching. Oh happy day. If you are as not encouraged by this as I am then you really ought to be giving serious consideration to the idea of trying a fundamentally new way of doing our economic operating system. J.V.]

Economists scratch their heads as Congress ramps up deficits



[Poste Note: What does it say about economics when the best a Nobel Laureate can say, after a significant economic event, is that "we were half expecting it." 

His point about people waiting for a cue to tell them that the fantasy has finally gone on for too long is certainly a valid one, but the upshot here is that he can only flip a coin now to determine, at every arbitrary moment of decision, as to whether we should continue fantasizing or not. I'm thinking that, in whatever will continue to be a more seductive way of fantasizing, relying on even being able to continue tossing the coin, ought to be seen as quite a bit more problematic than just 50-50. J.V.]
Robert Shiller On Markets: People Have Been Half-Expecting A Correction | Velshi & Ruhle


[Post note: Actually he's going to suffer the same thing here he will face with his ridiculous HyperLoop Investment: Namely that you can't depend on markets at all any more, and why the hell are you still thinking you can? J.V.]
HEAVY METTLE


Elon Musk has sharp elbows when it comes to a new market.



[Post note: And meanwhile, investment that makes a difference in real human terms goes lacking. J.V.]
AND MADE AT LEAST 90 SICK


A new study links 80 percent of Flint's Legionnaires' cases in 2014 and 2015 to the city's bad water. The Michigan health department disputes these findings.



MARKET FIRE


What caused the largest point drop in the history of the US market?



WEWORK OURSELVES TO THE BONE


Last year it was valued at $20 billion, a staggering sum for a company renting out short-term office space, mostly to small businesses and freelancers. But like Uber and Airbnb, WeWork positions itself grandly, as a disruptive revolutionary.