Sunday, October 12, 2008
Money - I know it's so last week, but one must try and keep up. Reading The Sunday Times splash online, I came to the comments at the end. Wayneo from Boston says, 'Next low for the Dow is 7380. If that low does not stop the blood flowing, then next low will be 6350.' There are few things more satisfying than the spectacle of superstition masquerading as knowledge. There is no evidence for Wayneo's assertion. Indeed, this kind of thinking about markets - I think it was called chartism - was pretty thoroughly discredited when I was a financial journalist 30 years go. But Wayneo, probably an economist, is hypnotised by the possibility that numbers in themselves have power over the future. In various forms, there's a lot of this kind of thinking around at the moment. It is the purest superstition. You see, prediction, as Niels Bohr so wisely observed, is very difficult, especially about the future.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:54 am