Markets, Manias, and Weather

James, this is a quote often used today, and for good reason I think.

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

The line is from a book first published in 1841 Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay (1814-1889).


In today’s world, when large numbers of people seem to accept that governments can control the weather with taxes and regulations, that decisions from the halls of power are superior to ordinary market-driven decisions of multitudes of individuals, and the major indices soar on abysmal data, one must wonder at the lack of any reasoning or logic. Perhaps Shakespeare was correct – there truly is nothing new under the sun, but the scale today is breathtaking.

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