The Perversity of The Stock Market

The psychologist Leon Festinger published his theory of cognitive dissonance in his 1957 book, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.

Festinger proposed that people experience discomfort when they hold conflicting beliefs or when their actions contradict their beliefs.

Disclaimer: I have not invested in the stock market since the 90s. I would probably be a millionaire if I did. That is if I did not lose it back. I did not invest because of both the gambling piece and what I felt were the perversities of the market. I am guessing that some of you are invested and some of you are not. I do not agree with investing being something we need to do and I do my best not to judge. I pine for the pre-Reagan days when we had pensions not 401ks.

Yes All, the stock market is gambling. I might make the case the stock market is the worst kind of gambling, perverse if you will. Perverse whether it is going up or down. Maybe more perverse when it goes up.

Another disclaimer: I made a very good financial living from working in the markets.

As a Person with a Gambling Disorder after working on an option exchange for seven years I lived with cognitive dissonance every day, every moment for the next 28 years. At the seven year mark I got an understanding of my disorder and the risks of being on the exchange. Greed and Fear drove my decision to stay on the floor. Here are two examples of the perverse nature of the markets. I am not a fan of ayn rand and her belief in something called objectivism. A fed chair. alan greenspan, was a rand acolyte. It took me a little while to understand that the “productivity” he espoused which was positive for corporations and markets was a hammer on the people who either worked for a living or lost their jobs to the small g god of productivity. What that meant was that when companies laid off human beings that was good. GOOD???Yes, good-what don’t you understand? Profits go up and we are “more productive” you dummy. So what that has meant in human terms (not corporate terms) is a drag on household income and the quality of life for millions. WAIT, we have an answer for you whiners. We are going to give you lotteries and other forms of gambling to help you reach that rainbow in our ads. We are going to give you 401ks and access to our rigged markets so you too can be a financial genius. The second example is that I made my most money when the markets were in chaos which usually meant that those 401ks were either being wiped out totally or hurt badly. How’s that for adding to my dissonance.

Others make their money when the markets go up. During this period of Covid-19 I perceive the most perverse market yet. The Waltons and the Bezos of the world along with the 1% of the 1% have benefited financially at unheard of levels as…

November 26, 2020: Covid-19 cases

Up to date totals of people directly affected which does not include family, friends, communities affected :

Total cases in the world: 61,298,469

New Cases: 328,393

Total Deaths: 1,443,815 US total 269,560

New Deaths; 10,922 As of about 30 minutes ago the number for today is 6,820

But hey, the stock market broke records.

PERVERSE

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