This blog post from Portugal was first published yesterday on Fundweb. Although I do not draw out the point in the piece it seems to me that the European Union, as an elitist technocratic project, has played a considerable role in inculcating the fatalist mood I describe. It was not originally planned that way but […]
While most of you were off on your summer holidays the world’s top economic policymakers were up to something else. Although they enjoyed more salubrious surroundings than many they kept busy doing what they do best: blaming others for the economic mess they have played a key part in creating. The summer’s top gig was […]
When a blatant error is repeated frequently it is worth thinking about why. In this case the example is not directly related to investment or economics but there is an important parallel. Some readers might have seen the recent report apparently showed six-year-olds outstripping adults in their understanding of information technology. Since it was reported […]
Much coverage of recent innovations in the financial markets seems to have a simple message: “beware of the dark side”. Like some bizarre offshoot from the Star Wars franchise it evokes a dimly lit world inhabited by a new, dangerous species. First, there are the “dark pools”. These are private trading venues, typically housed inside […]
Debate concentrates the mind. It is easy to dismiss opinions you disagree with from the privacy of your own living room. Debating articulate exponents of contrary views is another matter – even more so when the discussion takes place in front of a large audience. I found myself in the position of having to sharpen […]
This is the main text of my recent Fund Strategy cover story on behavioral finance. For a related box see below. Insights into investment behaviour sometimes come from unexpected directions. Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel prize for economics in 2002 for his work on behavioural finance, has described what for him was a eureka […]
This box was part of my recent Fund Strategy cover story on behavioural finance. Although behavioural finance owed much to modern psychology it also has other antecedents. Often they run parallel to discussions about irrational crowd behaviour. In the 1970s, at about the same time as Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky were starting to develop […]
This is my column for the July issue of Fund Strategy. Those who work in investment are more guilty than most of being too ready to accept the authority of numbers. Words can be doubted but numbers are often seen as virtually sacrosanct. Indeed, financial news often revolves around numbers. An index is down by […]
Given the unpopularity of those who work in financial services it was perhaps appropriate that there was a constant hissing sound in the background. Only this time around the source of the hissing, at least in the main, was a noisy air pump rather than the audience. The venue was the Bowler Hat – a […]
The emergence of London as a centre for trading in the Chinese currency points to both the strengths and weaknesses of the British economy. It is certainly a coup for London that the Chinese authorities have agreed to launch direct trading between the renminbi and the pound on the capital’s foreign exchange market. This will build […]
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