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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ValueWalk

The Bull Run Is Wreaking Havoc With Cargo Delays In Major Ports

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Ocean Insights’ cargo delay statistics show how the bull run is wreaking havoc on the market, with surging rollover rates across major ports during December and most major carriers seeing increases in delays.

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Cargo Delays Has Created A 30% Increase In Demand

Industry analysts are calling it, “one of the strongest bull-markets for container carriers seen in the last few decades.” Triggered by a 30% collapse in demand for container shipments in Europe and the US at the outset of the pandemic, a subsequen...



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Phil's Favorites

How the Ebenezer Baptist Church has been a seat of Black power for generations in Atlanta

 

How the Ebenezer Baptist Church has been a seat of Black power for generations in Atlanta

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preaching from his pulpit in 1960 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Dozier Mobley/Getty Images

Courtesy of Jason Oliver Evans, University of Virginia

The high-stakes U.S. Senate race in Georgia catapulted the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church back into the spotlight. For 135 years, the church played a vital ...



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Politics

What is the 'boogaloo' and who are the rioters who stormed the Capitol? 5 essential reads

 

What is the 'boogaloo' and who are the rioters who stormed the Capitol? 5 essential reads

Rioters mass on the U.S. Capitol steps on Jan. 6. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Courtesy of Jeff Inglis, The Conversation

In the wake of the insurrection on Jan. 6, the U.S. is bracing for the possibility of additional violent demonstrations and potential riots at the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings around the nation. W...



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Zero Hedge

Global Markets, S&P Futures Flat With US Markets Closed For MLK Holiday

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

US cash markets may be closed for Monday's MLK holiday, but US equity futures are humming and at last check they were unchanged from Friday's close at 3, 762 after earlier dropping as much as 20 points.

“Markets needed a breather or even a pull back to justify reflationary expectations,” said Ben Emons, managing director of global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors.

Despite the dip, stocks remains just shy of...



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Chart School

Why did selling SP500 volatility trades blow up?

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Many have made their fortunes selling volatility premium and then losing it, that is because they are running down the lit fuse and not understanding that eventually the strategy blows up.

In the chart below periods marked with A, B, C, D are periods of chasing yield which was so great the selling of option premium became vogue. Yes, this strategy worked for a while and 'this time was different' worked, until it didn't.

Selling volatility work great during period gray A until the cycle ended at red A.
Selling volatility work great during period gray B until the cycle ended at red B.
Selling volatility work great during period gray C until the cycle ended at blue C.
Selling volatility work great during period gray D un...

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Biotech/COVID-19

The simple reason West Virginia leads the nation in vaccinating nursing home residents

 

The simple reason West Virginia leads the nation in vaccinating nursing home residents

By mid-January, only about a quarter of the COVID-19 vaccines distributed for U.S. nursing homes through the federal program had reached people’s arms. Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Courtesy of Tinglong Dai, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

The urgency of vaccinating nursing home residents is evident in the numbers. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of mo...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Treasury Bond Yields At Make-Or-Break Decision Point Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Treasury bond yields (and interest rates) have been falling for so long now that investors have taken it for granted.

But bond yields have been rising for the past several months and perhaps investors should pay attention, especially as we grapple with questions about inflation and the broader economy (and prospects for recovery).

Today we ask Joe Friday to deliver us the facts! Below is a long-term “monthly” chart of the 30 Year US Treasury Bond Yield.

Counter-Trend Rally In Yields Facing Strong Resistance!

As you can see, treasury bond yields have spent much of the past 25 years trading in a falling channel… but the coronavirus crash sent yields...



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Mapping The Market

The Countries With The Most COVID-19 Cases

 

The Countries With The Most COVID-19 Cases

By Martin Armstrong, Statista, Jan 12, 2021

This regularly updated infographic keeps track of the countries with the most confirmed Covid-19 cases. The United States is still at the top of the list, with a total now exceeding the 22 million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. The total global figure is now over 85 million, while there have been more than 1.9 million deaths.

You will find more infographics at ...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: why the price has exploded - and where it goes from here

 

Bitcoin: why the price has exploded – and where it goes from here

B is for blast-off (but also bubble). 3DJustincase

Courtesy of Andrew Urquhart, University of Reading

Bitcoin achieved a remarkable rise in 2020 in spite of many things that would normally make investors wary, including US-China tensions, Brexit and, of course, an international pandemic. From a year-low on the daily charts of US$4,748 (£3,490) in the middle of March as pandemic fears took hold, bitcoin rose to ju...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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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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