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Department of "Huh?!": What Is Bill Gross Saying? Edition

A Comment on "A Prolegomenon to Any Useful Analysis of Modern Finance"

A correspondent berates me, correctly, for not having enough balls in the air at once. I had ten: savers, borrowers, diversifiers, insurers, principals, agents, gamblers, houses, marks, and con artists. He says:

You need to:

  • Divide borrowers into those who are borrowing because they have something useful to do with the money and those who are borrowing because they short-sightedly think it is a way of avoiding rather than merely delaying the unpleasant conversation with the spouse or the board: call them "entrepreneurs" and "procrastinators".

  • point out that a great many of the savers are impatient where they need to be patient.

  • point out that a great many of the savers are much more risk-averse because they are not diversifiers or do not understand the benefits they derive from diversification--and that they need to be and to understand such.

  • point out the macroeconomic risks caused by herd animals and positive-feedbackers.

In addition to diminishing the numbers of the gamblers, the houses, the marks, and the con artists, we also need to diminish the numbers of the procrastinators, the herd animals, and the positive-feedbackers, and convince the savers not only to be diversifiers but to take account of the benefits of diversification in their planning.

So I need to divide borrowers into entrepreneurs and procrastinators--that's 11--and add undiversified savers, herd animals, and positive-feedbackers to my list: that's 14 different kinds in my bestiary.

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