Saturday, February 10, 2018

Market Volatility: the Drinking Game

I wish I could find the original tweet posted a few days ago by some renowned financial whiz I'd never heard of before.  I stumbled across it reading stuff on Google and then lost it. I apologize to the author of this brilliant idea, whose name I have also misplaced.

The early-afternoon tweet said, more or less, "NEW DRINKING GAME.  TAKE A SHOT EVERY TIME THE MARKET CHANGES DIRECTION TODAY.  I'D BE DRUNK ALREADY."   He posted that on the day the market slid 500 points, then shot back up higher than it was originally, then dropped almost as far as it had before, but not quite, then rose again to just about the original position it had been in when the bell rang that morning. 

When radio announcers tried to say whether the market was rising or dropping that day, they kept giggling and apologizing.  One actually sounded near tears because she didn't want to commit to whether the market was better or worse, and she just kept backpedalling before making a wild guess. 

I gather this is the combined effect of those cutting-edge robo-investors that make zillions of transactions per minute, Trump's quiet deregulation of the market -- the ONLY thing he's done quietly in the past year -- and the emotional shock of the massive, not-at-all-quiet tax cuts he just signed into law, handcuffed to his loud promises that he's going to SPEND, SPEND, SPEND on infrastructure to the tune of grillions more dollars.  

I used to work on the Consumer Attitude Survey at the Institute For Social Research, which simply asked 500 people a month how they thought the economy seemed to be going and how they thought it was headed in the future.  The results of the survey proved to be so deadly accurate -- because peoples' feelings about the economy dictate their financial decisions -- that it was finally added to the Index Of Leading Economic Indicators.  I would really love to know what kind of results they are getting lately.

What should we start with, the Jose Cuervo or the Midori?  I still have some of that raspberry Smirnoff if you want to finish it...


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