• 2 days Markets Unfazed As Inflation Hits 13-Year High
  • 3 days How the Token Economy is Disrupting Financial Markets
  • 5 days FBI Investigating 100 Types Of Ransomware Attacks
  • 7 days Fed Ends Corporate Credit Emergency Lending Program
  • 9 days AMC Becomes the Latest Winning Meme Stock After GameStop
  • 10 days The Real Reason Your 401k Has Been Lagging
  • 11 days China Lifts Cap On Births, Allows Three Children Per Couple
  • 13 days The Market Is Ripe For Another GameStop Saga
  • 16 days Senate Grills Big Banks Over Pandemic Opportunism
  • 17 days Cannabis Has A Major Cash Problem
  • 18 days Ransomware Netted Criminals $350M In 2020 Alone
  • 19 days Russia Is Taking On Google
  • 20 days Chinese Regulators Deal Another Big Blow To Bitcoin
  • 21 days Ohio Residents Brave Vaccine for Chance To Win $1M
  • 23 days Inflation Is Coming. Are You Prepared?
  • 24 days 3 World-Shaking Trends Investors Need To Watch This Year
  • 24 days Travel Might Get Another Supersonic Disruption
  • 25 days The World Is Running Out Of 6 Key Resources
  • 26 days $15/Hour Minimum Wage Might Happen Naturally
  • 28 days Money-Laundering Binance Probe Report Adds To Bitcoin Woes
What's Behind The Global EV Sales Slowdown?

What's Behind The Global EV Sales Slowdown?

An economic slowdown in many…

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

The Problem With Modern Monetary Theory

Modern monetary theory has been…

Zombie Foreclosures On The Rise In The U.S.

Zombie Foreclosures On The Rise In The U.S.

During the quarter there were…

Robert Prechter

Robert Prechter

Robert Prechter, Jr., is a social theorist and market analyst. He is president of Elliott Wave International, a forecasting firm servicing institutional and private investors…

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. Markets
  3. Other

The Myth of Shocks

An Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Socionomic Theory of Finance

Few people find a new theory accessible until they first see errors in the old way of thinking. Part I of this book challenges the universally accepted paradigm under which humans' rational reactions to exogenous (external, or externally generated) causes purportedly account for financial market behavior. The current chapter explores whether dramatic news events affect financial markets.


Testing Financial-Market Reaction under Perfect Conditions

In the physical world of mechanics, action is followed by reaction. When a bat strikes a ball, the ball changes course.

Most financial analysts, economists, historians, sociologists and futurists believe that society works the same way. They typically say, "Because so-and-so has happened, it will cause such-and-such reaction." This mechanics paradigm is ubiquitous in financial commentary. The news headlines in Figure 1 reflect what economists tell reporters: Good economic news makes the stock market go up; bad economic news makes it go down. But is it true?

Market News
Figure 1

In the second half of the 1990s, a popular book made a case for buying and holding stocks forever. In March 2004, after several terrorist attacks had occurred, the author told a reporter, "Clearly, the risk of terror is the major reason why the markets have come down. We can't quantify these risks; it's not like flipping a coin and knowing your odds are 50-50 that an attack won't occur."

In other words, he accepts the mechanics paradigm of exogenous cause and effect with respect to the stock market but says he cannot predict a major cause part of the equation. The first question is, if one cannot predict causes, then how can one write a book predicting effects? A second question is far more important: Is there any evidence that dramatic news events that make headlines, including terrorist attacks, political events, wars, natural disasters and other crises, are causal to stock market movement?

Suppose the devil were to offer you historic news a day in advance, no strings attached. "What's more," he says, "you can hold a position in the stock market for as little as a single trading day after the event or as long as you like." It sounds foolproof, so you accept.

His first offer: "The president will be assassinated tomorrow." You can't believe it. You are the only person in the world who knows it's going to happen.

The devil transports you back to November 22, 1963. You quickly take a short position in the stock market in order to profit when prices fall on the bad news you know is coming. Do you make money?

 


To continue reading, follow this link to elliottwave.com

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline The Myth of Shocks. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

 

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment