Friday, August 12, 2011


Up, down, up, down, up.

My usual advice regarding the stock market: ignore it. The bitter truth about the stock market is that is has virtually nothing to do with the real economy of people trying to earn a living so as to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. The markets may affect the sales of Louis Vuitton accessories and all the crap indispensable for accessorizing those accessories, but sales of rice, beans, and gasoline will stay fairly constant.

Granted, it's hard to ignore the market if you're trying to eke out the final few years of your life of thankless labor on the proceeds of a 401k — but equally needless to say, anything you try to do now will be much too little, much too late.

Forget the "confidence fairy." Forget all the conjecture about the impact of this, that, or the other barf-out of the latest "economic data." It doesn't take an economist to figure out that things are, in a manner of speaking, fucked up — and you don't have to be an economist to recognize that your personal investment in the stock market amounts to chicken shit by comparison with the investments of banks, hedge funds, and similar corporate straw men for the plutocrats.

And, no, it NEVER "trickles down."

So what's with the volatility? Okay, there are assholes out there trading for their own accounts, and some of them must be dumb enough to panic when others seem to be panicky and to buy high in bursts of irrational enthusiasm only to see their investments droop like a certain national leader's limp dick. How much can that explain, though, when a great majority of the buying and selling is institutional, and when most of that institutional buying and selling is program trading?

Who has the best algorithm today? Who is the fewest microseconds distant from today's Biggest Board? I'm just guessing that it's not your retirement fund, so how you're doing amounts, pretty much, to pure chance. Just bear in mind, though, that there's a great deal of money to be made in volatile markets — and that somebody is making it.

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