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The More Things Change…

In case you were interested in the cause of the current financial crisis, here’s an article from yesterday’s Wired. It’s actually not too hard to understand and it’s way interesting:

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-03/wp_quant?currentPage=1

Not that I totally get all the bits and pieces, but I’m seeing the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac tie in. And it boils down to what I suspected all along: it’s just the same ol’ same ol’. There’s always a shell game, snake oil, and a cure for baldness.

What seems clear to me is every time we get close to creating guaranteed health, wealth, and longevity for all, we’re going to wind up back at square one. As Li, the genius mathematician said: “The most dangerous part is when people believe everything…”

The point is there are no guarantees to anything, anywhere, ever. We cured polio and then developed aids. We cured the Depression and then got this. Always, we fix something and something else breaks. There’s an underlying paradox or something. We can’t time travel, we can’t fly as fast as the speed of light, and we can’t all be rich. Or maybe some of us can be rich all the time and all of us can be rich some of the time, but all of us can’t be rich all of the time. Everyone knows the stock market is a pyramid scheme where Peter is robbed to pay Paul. Why are we so surprised when a formula for success doesn’t succeed there? Do we really think a system on Wall Street is going to be better than a system in Vegas?

There will always be randomness, uncertainty, and risk. We will always die in the end. And that’s okay; the game is no fun unless you play.

I might not be so cavalier on my 90th when I’m still cranking out print pages because my 401k went to shit and I have to keep working until the second coming (of the dot come bubble that is), but, hey, that is so far away and the market will come back and there’ll be plenty of time to hit it big before my retirement date.

I’m sure social security will be privatized by then anyway, so I’ll definitely be coming into some money.

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4 thoughts on “The More Things Change…

  1. The stock market isn’t random. Some smart people do make money by picking good stocks. The people who lost money had other people do their stock picking for them, like in a 401K. Not all people on Wall Street are crooks. I think that’s the worst thing about this latest “crisis”: Wall Streeters are being portrayed as all being crooks. Yes, some are. But probably most aren’t. If you take the time and make the effort to do the research, you can make money in the stock market. The problems arise when you think that someone else can do your research for you!

    • Hi Josh,

      One of the points the article brought out was that what happened is that the people that do supposedly take the time and make the effort were taken in by this, not lazy people that never pay attention (like me). So from my viewpoint even if the stock market isn’t random, it is. If the people that spend their lives chasing after the patterns, can’t do the right thing, it might as well be random.

      And for the record the smart people that fell for this are certainly not crooks. They’re just lazy or greedy maybe or pressured even.

      I don’t believe the stock market would work at all if nobody ever lost money.

  2. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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