Andy Xie: Institutional Irrationality

Andy Xie, former Morgan Stanley star economist, wrote:

“While rational expectation is returning to part of the investment community, most are still trapped in institutional weaknesses that make them behave irrationally. The Greenspan era has nurtured a vast financial sector. All the people in the business world need something to do. Since they invest with other people’s money, they are biased towards bullish sentiment. Otherwise, if they say it’s all bad, their investors will take back the money, and they will lose their jobs. Governments know that and create noises to give them excuses to be bullish.”

This institutional weakness has been a catastrophe for people who trust investment professionals. In the past two decades, equity investors have done worse than owning bonds in the U. S. market, lost big in Japan and emerging markets in general. It is  astonishing to see how a value-destroying industry has lasted for so long. The bigger irony is that the people in this industry have been 2-3 times as well paid as in other industries. The key to its survival is volatility. As markets collapse and surge, it creates the possibilities for getting rich quickly. Unfortunately, most people don’t get out when markets are high like now. They only go through the ride.”

That’s your quote of the day . . .

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Source:
Tight Spot for Fed, Blind Spot for Investors
Andy Xie
Caijing, 06-09 09:02
http://english.caijing.com.cn/2009-06-09/110180019.html

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