Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Becoming the media

Is "old" media dead? These people certainly seem to think so.


Anonymous The Maestro said...

I think you mean, "somebody else gets it wrong." Because the author of that piece acts shocked - shocked! - that people buy stocks, hoping the price will go up. Actually, that's the reason people have invested since the beginning of the stock market. And people don't buy hoping to stick some loser with a loss on the other side -- they buy shares in a company that they think is going to succeed and grow in the future, and whose stock price is still low, and as others come to recognize the value of this company, they, too will purchase shares, which makes the price go up -- so everyone gets richer. Sure, those who sold at a lower price before the stock rose (I've been on that side many times as well) may curse their missed opportunity, but they chose to sell when they did -- perhaps they needed the cash, perhaps they'd already made a fair gain, perhaps they thought they'd found a more likely prospect for growth -- of their own free will. Yes, free will, that which drives free markets, which drive wealth, health, growth and success for millions and millions of people.

No, it's not a perfect system, but there's none better. And yes, there are unethical companies, so by all means pick and choose for not just financial reasons, but moral as well. I wish there were more of this done by all investors.

But to slag the markets so generally, and all investors too, is to show your limited, grade-school comprehension of economics, markets, finance and investing.

That noble doofus in the article will make his piddling 4% on a CD (basically, he's loaning his money to a BANK - horrors! - so they can lend it to someone else) while I make eight or 10 or 12% on my equity investments. So we evil rich will get richer (though we'll of course be taxed at absurdly high rates - but that's another debate) while this nobleman's nest egg grows at a glacial pace.


20 March, 2007 22:19  
Blogger Uncle Petie said...

Either that's a really circuitous way of answering the death of old media question, or you've commented on the wrong post.

Anyway, I don't read Steve as worrying about all markets and investors generally -I can't, for example, see him getting all hot under the collar if someone decided to sink their money into their grandma's cake shop or their friend's internet start-up.

It's just the Wall Street model that people find a little worrying. I'm fairly sure people invest for reasons other than likely growth (which in itself doesn't necessarily seem economically useful - what if we're all pushing money at a big fat monopolist and helping them throw sand in the wheels of the market).

I was reading a paper on pump n' dump spamming the other day, and it's amazing how many people receive the e-mail, then buy anyway because they figure they'll get out before the fun stops (generally speaking, they don't). Now you might say good luck to them, but if there's one thing that my Grade School Economics class taught me, it's that other people's shit quickly becomes your shit - enough people investing devoid of any real information on the company other than whether the price goes up or down, and the party's apt to stop for all concerned. One of the things people were doing at the beginning of the stock market was investing in tulips, and I seem to recall that ending rather badly.

22 March, 2007 06:15  

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