Posts Tagged ‘Efficient Market Hypothesis’

Breaking the Guild of Macroeconomists

Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog compares the science of economics, or actually the pseudo-science, with medical theory in the days of Galen, the ancient Greek physician:Galen

Galen contributed a substantial amount to the Hippocratic understanding of pathology. Under Hippocrates’ bodily humors theory, differences in human moods come as a consequence of imbalances in one of the four bodily fluids: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Galen advanced this theory, creating a typology of human temperaments. An imbalance of each humor corresponded with a particular human temperament (blood-sanguine, black bile-melancholic, yellow bile-choleric, and phlegm-phlegmatic). Individuals with sanguine temperaments are extroverted and social. Choleric people have energy, passion and charisma. Melancholics are creative, kind and considerate. Phlegmatic temperaments are characterized by dependability, kindness, and affection.

While that theory proved wrong, Galen made some interesting contributions to medical science:

Galen’s principal interest was in human anatomy, but Roman law had prohibited the dissection of human cadavers since about 150 BCE. Because of this restriction, Galen performed anatomical dissections on living (vivisection) and dead animals, mostly focusing on pigs and primates. This work turned out to be particularly useful because in most cases, the anatomical structures of these animals closely mirror those of humans. Galen clarified the anatomy of the trachea and was the first to demonstrate that the larynx generates the voice. Galen may have understood the importance of artificial ventilation, because in one of his experiments he used bellows to inflate the lungs of a dead animal.

Among Galen’s major contributions to medicine was his work on the circulatory system. He was the first to recognize that there were distinct differences between venous (dark) and arterial (bright) blood. Although his many anatomical experiments on animal models led him to a more complete understanding of the circulatory system, nervous system, respiratory system and other structures, his work was not without scientific inaccuracies. Wikipedia. 

- Ilene

Breaking the Guild of Macroeconomists

Courtesy of Tim at Psy-Fi Blog 

Playskool's Mrs. Potato Head and Jeep, portraying Marmaduke, cross paths at the BlogHer '10 conference in New York, August 6, 2010. Hasbro and Fox Home Entertainment are both participating sponsors at this year's blogger conference. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine/Hasbro/Handout  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY)

Economic Entertainment

In an entertaining piece Economics is Hard. Don’t Let Bloggers Tell You Otherwise Kartik Athreya of the Fed in Richmond has suggested that financial bloggers are a mentally incontinent bunch, pathologically incapable of stopping themselves from opining on financial matters on which they actually offer no insight. Now, leaving aside the question of whether we want our professional economists to be entertaining, this opens up the question of whether untrained commentators can…
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Reich Levels Broadside at Greenspan, Rubin, and Summers, and Phony Financial Reform

I posted this article earlier, but now Jesse writes a great intro. – Ilene

Reich Levels Broadside at Greenspan, Rubin, and Summers, and Phony Financial Reform

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

Robert Reich is exactly correct. Back in 1999 I started questioning what Robert Rubin might have said to Alan Greenspan in a private meeting in 1997 to reverse his policy bias after his famous "irrational exuberance" speech and embrace the monetary easing that led to the tech bubble, and to join the fight against regulation, resulting in the repeal of Glass-Steagall in which the Fed was absolutely instrumental.

PBS Frontline – The Warning: The Roots of the Financial Crisis

This was no accident, in my opinion. This was no misplaced belief in ‘the efficient market hypothesis.’ This was not the culmination of the neo-liberal fascination with a mythology of human nature that would make Rousseau blush in its unthinking naiveté. And for Greenspan to say now, I am sorry, I guess I was mistaken, is more prevarication from the master dissembler.

There were plenty of enablers to this financial fraud. There always are many more people who do not act out of principle, or inside involvement and knowledge, but out of their own selfish bias and greed or craven fear that compels them to ‘go with the flow.’

And there is little better example of this than the many people who are even now turning a willful eye away from the blatant government manipulation of the stock and commodity markets, in particular the silver market. They do not wish to believe it, so they ignore it, and even ridicule it depending on how deeply it affects their personal interests. But the overall body of evidence is compelling enough to provoke further investigation, and the refusal to allow audits and independent investigation starts to become an overwhelming sign of a coverup. I am not saying that it is correct, or that I know something, but I am saying to not investigate it thoroughly and to air all the details, is highly suspicious and not in the interests of the truth. I did not know, for example, that Madoff was conducting a Ponzi scheme, but the indications were all there and a simple investigation and disclosure would have revealed the truth, one way or the other.

"Fiat justitia ruat caelum." Let justice be done though the heaven’s fall. This is the principle…
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Efficient Market Hypothesis: True “Villain” of the Financial Crisis?

This article discusses Robert Prechter’s view of the Efficient Market Hypothesis. For more from Elliott Wave International, download this free 10-page issue of Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave Theorist.

Efficient Market Hypothesis: True "Villain" of the Financial Crisis?

economy lessons, gravity lessonsBy Robert Folsom, courtesy of Elliott Wave International

When a maverick idea becomes vindicated, there’s a good story to tell. It usually involves a person (or small group of people) who courageously challenge the orthodoxy of the day — and, over time, the unorthodox yet better idea prevails.

A "good story" of this sort has surfaced during the current financial crisis. A chapter of the story appeared in a recent New York Times article, "Poking Holes in a Theory on Markets." The theory in question is the efficient market hypothesis (EMH), which the article suggested is so hazardous that it "is more or less responsible for the financial crisis." This quote tells you most of what you need to know:

"In the last decade, the efficient market hypothesis, which had been near dogma since the early 1970s, has taken some serious body blows. First came the rise of the behavioral economists, like Richard H. Thaler at the University of Chicago and Robert J. Shiller at Yale, who convincingly showed that mass psychology, herd behavior and the like can have an enormous effect on stock prices — meaning that perhaps the market isn’t quite so efficient after all. Then came a bit more tangible proof: the dot-com bubble, quickly followed by the housing bubble. Quod erat demonstrandum."

In case your Latin is rusty, Quod erat demonstrandum means "which was to be demonstrated." Its abbreviation (QED) appears at the conclusion of a mathematical proof. In this case, the massive financial bubbles of recent years are the proof that refutes the efficient market hypothesis, which argues that markets move in a "random walk" and are not patterned.

Similar articles in the financial press have reported the demise of the EMH. Just this week an Economist magazine blog included this bold declaration:

"No one has yet produced a version of the EMH which can be tested and fits the evidence. Thus, the EMH must logically be discarded, as a valid hypothesis must be testable."

QED, indeed — I agreed years ago that the random walk was implausible. But I didn’t come to this view because of behavioral economists, although their work…
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Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

"Science advances one funeral at a time." Max Planck

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

six impossible things before breakfastCourtesy of John Mauldin

In this issue:
Six impossible things before breakfast, or how EMH has damaged our industry
The Dead Parrot of Finance
The Queen of Hearts and impossible beliefs
Slaves of some defunct economist
Prima facie case against EMH — Forever blowing bubbles
The EMH ‘Nuclear Bomb’

The Efficient Market Hypothesis, according to Shiller, is one of the most remarkable errors in the history of economic thought. EMH should be consigned to the dustbin of history. We need to stop teaching it, and brainwashing the innocent. Rob Arnott tells a lovely story of a speech he was giving to some 200 finance professors. He asked how many of them taught EMH – pretty much everyone’s hand was up. Then he asked how many of them believed it. Only two hands stayed up!

And we wonder why funds and banks, full of the best and brightest, have made such a mess of things. Part of the reason is that we have taught economic nonsense to two generations of students. They have come to rely upon models based on assumptions that are absurd on their face. And then they are shocked when the markets deliver them a "hundred-year flood" every 4 years. The models say this should not happen. But do they abandon their models? No, they use them to convince regulators that things should not be changed all that much. And who can argue with a model that was the basis for a Nobel Prize?

I am again out of town this week, but I have been saving a speech done by my friend James Montier of Société Générale in London on the problems with the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EFM). While parts of it are wonkish, there are also parts that are quite funny (at least to an economist).

Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas usually have bad consequences. The current maelstrom from which we are emerging (finally, if in fits and starts) has many culprits. A lot of bad ideas and poor management that came together to create the perfect storm. Today, we look at some of the ideas that are part of the problem but are too often glossed over


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The psychology of economic forecasting

The psychology of economic forecasting

Courtesy of Edward Harrison of the site Credit Writedowns.

During the last generation, the economics profession has veered toward a ‘science’ model of economics and finance. The intellectual underpinnings for this development began with the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) and has continued in no small measure due to what is often termed ‘University of Chicago School Economics.’  If you are looking for a good read on what is wrong with the EMH view of the world, you should get ready for Justin Fox’s “The Myth of the Rational Market” which is coming to a bookstore near you.

My own view is that many economists today are really frustrated scientists looking to ply their science and math craft in economics. In reality, economics is a social science with large influences from psychology and the scientific view ignores this.  However, the fact that psychology plays a large role in economics is something that is increasingly appreciated, as the Nobel Prize received by Daniel Kahneman attests.

So, I am not going to discuss EMH or rational markets.  Rather I want to delve into the psychology of economic forecasting and why economists act as they do.  Late last month, I posted an article with an attached video in which Marc Faber made the very astute comment, “it’s very tough for a forecaster who was ultra-bearish to stay bearish, because if he’s wrong he has a reputational risk.”  What I believe Faber was saying is this: an economist who is proved wrong is an economist who loses credibility.  This statement is at the heart of economic forecasting.

What Faber is giving voice to is the very real concern that any economic forecaster feels in making a prediction. If one is proved right, then plaudits will follow.  If one gets it wrong, the Bronx cheer is what you are likely to get. This is true for macroeconomists as much as for Wall Street analysts.  I will give you two examples from Wall Street to illustrate my point.

Henry Blodget: Amazon to $400

In October of 1998, Blodget predicted that Amazon’s stock would soar to $400 a share.  At the time, he was a little known analyst at Oppenheimer, the same company for which Meredith Whitney worked until recently.  His Amazon prediction propelled…
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Zero Hedge

Amazon Sells $10 Billion In Bonds At Record Low Yields

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Yesterday morning we reported that the news of Amazon's massive, 6-part bond issuance - which came just as Morgan Stanley upgraded the company's price target to $2,800 - was enough to push Treasury yields to session high following a flurry of rate locks. Little did we know that just a few hours later demand for the offering would overflow dealer books, and the result as announced late on Monday, was the sale of $10 billion in a more than 3x-oversubscribed offering (led by DB, GS, HSBC, JPM) that included three-year notes carrying an interest rate of just 0.4%.

This means that just days af...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Aussie Dollar Suggesting Much Higher Commodities And Yields On The Way???

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is the Aussie Dollar about to jump higher and signal that Commodities and interest rates are about to do the same? Possible!

This chart looks at the Aussie Dollar on a monthly basis over the past 16-years.

The AU$ created a bottoming pattern over several months in late 2008/early 2009 at (1). While creating the bottom, a couple of monthly bullish reversal patterns formed. What did commodities and yields do following the bottoming process in the AU$? Both were creating bottoms as well!

The 9-year decline in the AU$ has it testing triple support a...



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The Technical Traders

Comparing Bitcoin and Ether During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Courtesy of Technical Traders

You don’t need a crystal ball — or an economics degree — to notice the pandemic is having a historic impact on the stock market and commodities.

Gold initially went down (like all assets) in the mid-March meltdown, but is up 14% YTD. Oil bid negative, for the first time ever, as May futures traders dumped contracts to avoid taking delivery amid a lack of storage. It has since rebounded partially due to production cuts and the lifting of lockdowns. Orange juice is up over 26% YTD on adverse weather than impacted Brazil’s crop and increased consumer demand.

The most surpris...



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Phil's Favorites

Police officers accused of brutal violence often have a history of complaints by citizens

 

Police officers accused of brutal violence often have a history of complaints by citizens

Police work to keep demonstrators back during a protest in Lafayette Square Park on May 30, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Courtesy of Jill McCorkel, Villanova University

As protests against police violence and racism continue in cities throughout the U.S., the public is learning that several of the officer...



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ValueWalk

Strategy Chain Interviews ValueWalk CEO And Founder Jacob Wolinsky

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Thank you to Michael Robertson of The Strategy Chain podcast for interviewing me. See below for the episode timestamps and the full audio. TX – Jacob Wolinsky

Jacob Wolinsky worked in investing and financial journalism before founding ValueWalk, a site that curates information about investing, hedge funds, asset management, and the broader world of finance. We explore Jacob’s journey as an investor and an entrepreneur. This episode was a real treat for me because our guest was (and continues to be) instrumental to my growth as a value investor. Jacob gave us a ton ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Antibody injections could fight COVID-19 infections - an infectious disease expert explains the prospects

 

Antibody injections could fight COVID-19 infections – an infectious disease expert explains the prospects

Antibodies (pink) attacking a virus particle (blue). STEVEN MCDOWELL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Courtesy of Dimiter Stanchev Dimitrov, University of Pittsburgh

Antibodies are part of us – literally.

We have billions of them in our bodies with a combined weight of about 100 grams, or about the weight of a bar of soap. If there are so many antibodies inside our b...



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Chart School

Silver volume says something is near boiling point

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Fundamentals are important, but they must show up in the chart. And when they do and if they may matter, it is a good sign if price and volume waves show a change of character.

The Point and Figure chart below is readtheticker.com version of PnF chart format, it is designed to highlight price and volume waves clearly (notice the Volume Hills chart).

Silver ETF volume is screaming at us! The price volatility along with volume tells us those who have not cared, are starting to, those who are wrong are adjusting, and those who are correct are loading up. Soon the kettle will blow and the price of silver will be over $20. 

Normally silver suffers in a recession, maybe this time with trillions of paper money being creat...

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Lee's Free Thinking

US Southern States COVID19 Cases - Let's Give Credit Where Due

 

US Southern States COVID19 Cases – Let’s Give Credit Where Due

Courtesy of  

The number of new COVID 19 cases has been falling in the Northeast, but the South is not having the same experience. The number of new cases per day in each Southern state has been rangebound for the past month.

And that’s assuming that the numbers haven’t been manipulated. We know that in Georgia’s case at least, they have been. And there are suspicions about Florida as well, as the State now engages in a smear campaign against the fired employee who built its much praised COVID19 database and dashboar...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

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Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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