www.cafehayek.com… is from David Hume’s 1742 essay “Of Public Credit,” (here from page 350 of the 1985 Liberty Fund collection of Hume’s essays, edited by the late Eugene Miller, Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary) (original emphasis):
[O]ur modern expedient, which has become very general, is to mortgage the public revenues, and to trust that posterity will pay off the incumbrances contracted by their ancestors: And they, having before their eyes, so good an example of their wise fathers, have the same prudent reliance on their posterity; who, at last, from necessity more than choice, are obliged to place the same confidence in a new posterity.
Moods and Markets (Socionomics)
Of course, mood and emotion have an influence on people’s actions. I view socionomics/psychology as a supplement to but not a substitute for understanding Austrian Business Cycle Theory. In the interests of openness and inquiry I am posting on socionomics. Some may view it as star-gazing. YOU decide.
Socinomics is the study of how changes in social mood motivate and affect social actions and our behavior, not just in the financial markets but also in politics and popular culture. Socioeconomics, on the other hand, looks at how changing economic conditions and social conditions relate. The two fields have different views of cause and effect.
Mood is defined as our underlying confidence which is all about the future and how certain we are, not only about what we believe is ahead but whether our own immediate choice of action—our decisions–will be successful.
The reality, however, is that the future is in no way correlated to our level of confidence. The future is going to be what it is going to be whether we are confient about it or not.
For example, in June 2011, Wells Fargo exited the reverse mortgage business (www.wellsfargo.com/press/2011/20110616_Mortgage) by stating that “The decision was made based on today’s unpredictable home values.” The press release implies that when Wells Fargo entered the reverse mortgage business in 1990, the company thought that home values were predictable. The reality is that home values were just as predictable or unpredictable in 2011 as they were in 1990. When we are confident (good mood) we tend to believe that we can predict accurately and when we are not confident, we view the world as more unpredictable. Read more below:
Books: One of the greatest investors of all times was John Templeton who said to buy at the point of “maximum pessimism.” I have been looking for books that explain how to do this, or at least make an attempt.
- Moods and Markets: A New Way to Invest in Good Times and in Bad (Minyanville Media) [Hardcover] Peter Atwater (Author)
- The book, “Mood Matters,” makes the radical assertion that all social events ranging from fashions in music and art to the rise and fall of civilizations are biased by the attitudes a society holds toward the future. When the “social mood” is positive and people look forward to the future, events of an entirely different character tend to occur than when society is pessimistic. The message of the book – that the mood of a society dictates what will happen rather than the reverse – is counterintuitive at first sight, but supported by many quite surprising and convincing examples.
- Mood Matters: From Rising Skirt Lengths to the Collapse of World Powers [Hardcover] byJohn L. Casti (Author)