Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Crazy stox like a hooker's drawers"

Actual New York Post headline  today.

Say the  forecast is for a foot of snow tomorrow. Even though you know the roads will be plowed in  a matter of hours  you go to the supermarket & buy twice as much food as usual, & the store has jacked up the prices of snow shovels & sidewalk salt, & there's a temporary shortage of milk despite milk being abundant & cheap.  Turns out there's only 3" of snow. The following week you buy half as many groceries & the snow shovels are on sale.  The week after that there's a water main break & with the jams & detours it takes you an hour to reach the market instead of the usual 15 minutes. The delay makes you anxious, maybe next week it's a flood,  so you buy twice as many groceries. When are we gonna realize that's how the stock market operates day-to-day? But the massive buying & sell-offs are computer generated.

I know I'm simplistic. But  I watch economic headlines on my homepage feeds change 180 degrees  every 24 hours. 25 thousand new jobs, up; fears about European debt, down; S&P downgrade may spur recovery, up; S&P rating anxiety in Asia, down; lower oil buoys market,  up; oil price rise jitters, down. I wonder if the stock market is all that mindless or it's really a relatively small number of people jerking everyone else  around. Maybe both.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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