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It was all just a bad dream

So, that was it. The worst recession in living memory is, if you believe the latest government think tank reports, now over. The recession that Alistair Darling said would be the worst for 60 years (and he recently revised that estimate upwards to 100 years) has passed with nary a whimper in real terms. True, if you lost your job in the last year or so then you might not see it as being a particularly benign period of history, but really, as these things go, this has been ‘recession lite’, a recession for the generation that doesn’t dorecessions. Which, of course, makes me and Lance look a bit silly. Having correctly predicted that the recession would actually...

posted on: Jun 10, 2009 | author: Alex

Irrational exuberance and the madness of crowds...

The title of this article combines comments by Alan Greenspan about the stock market boom of the 1990s (”irrational exuberance”) and the title of a book by Charles Mackay. The book, “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”, is a short but interesting one, covering those aspects of human psychology, sociology and politics that lead to what are known as bubbles. A bubble is loosely defined as what happens when the price of a particular class of item breaks away from fundamentals and, in effect, goes up because everyone expects it to go up. We’ll rewind a bit here and take a look at the way markets usually work; all markets, not just financial ones. Company A...

posted on: Nov 25, 2007 | author: Alex