GOLD is the money of the KINGS, SILVER is the money of the GENTLEMEN, BARTER is the money of the PEASANTS, but DEBT is the money of the SLAVES!!!
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
How to Predict the Stock Market: Finance, Trends, Money, Investment, Indicators (2002)
Two famous early stock market bubbles were the Mississippi Scheme in France and the South Sea bubble in England. Both bubbles came to an abrupt end in 1720, bankrupting thousands of unfortunate investors. Those stories, and many others, are recounted in Charles Mackay's 1841 popular account, "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds."
The two most famous bubbles of the twentieth century, the bubble in American stocks in the 1920s just before the Great Depression and the Dot-com bubble of the late 1990s were based on speculative activity surrounding the development of new technologies. The 1920s saw the widespread introduction of an amazing range of technological innovations including radio, automobiles, aviation and the deployment of electrical power grids. The 1990s was the decade when Internet and e-commerce technologies emerged.
Other stock market bubbles of note include the Encilhamento occurred in Brazil during the late 1880s and early 1890s, the Nifty Fifty stocks in the early 1970s, Taiwanese stocks in 1987-1989 and Japanese stocks in the late 1980s.
Stock market bubbles frequently produce hot markets in initial public offerings, since investment bankers and their clients see opportunities to float new stock issues at inflated prices. These hot IPO markets misallocate investment funds to areas dictated by speculative trends, rather than to enterprises generating longstanding economic value. Typically when there is an over abundance of IPOs in a bubble market, a large portion of the IPO companies fail completely, never achieve what is promised to the investors, or can even be vehicles for fraud.
Emotional and cognitive biases (see behavioral finance) seem to be the causes of bubbles, but often, when the phenomenon appears, pundits try to find a rationale, so as not to be against the crowd. Thus, sometimes, people will dismiss concerns about overpriced markets by citing a new economy where the old stock valuation rules may no longer apply. This type of thinking helps to further propagate the bubble whereby everyone is investing with the intent of finding a greater fool. Still, some analysts cite the wisdom of crowds and say that price movements really do reflect rational expectations of fundamental returns. Large traders become powerful enough to rock the boat, generating stock market bubbles.
To sort out the competing claims between behavioral finance and efficient markets theorists, observers need to find bubbles that occur when a readily-available measure of fundamental value is also observable. The bubble in closed-end country funds in the late 1980s is instructive here, as are the bubbles that occur in experimental asset markets. According to the efficient-market hypothesis, this doesn't happen, and so any data is wrong. For closed-end country funds, observers can compare the stock prices to the net asset value per share (the net value of the fund's total holdings divided by the number of shares outstanding). For experimental asset markets, observers can compare the stock prices to the expected returns from holding the stock (which the experimenter determines and communicates to the traders).
In both instances, closed-end country funds and experimental markets, stock prices clearly diverge from fundamental values. Nobel laureate Dr. Vernon Smith has illustrated the closed-end country fund phenomenon with a chart showing prices and net asset values of the Spain Fund in 1989 and 1990 in his work on price bubbles. At its peak, the Spain Fund traded near $35, nearly triple its Net Asset Value of about $12 per share. At the same time the Spain Fund and other closed-end country funds were trading at very substantial premiums, the number of closed-end country funds available exploded thanks to many issuers creating new country funds and selling the IPOs at high premiums.
It only took a few months for the premiums in closed-end country funds to fade back to the more typical discounts at which closed-end funds trade. Those who had bought them at premiums had run out of "greater fools". For a while, though, the supply of "greater fools" had been outstanding.