Saturday, December 29, 2018

#363 / Auto Buy And Auto Sell

Almost immediately upon finishing up my blog post published yesterday, I read an article about a completely different, but apparently related, subject. 

In the December 26, 2018, edition of The Wall Street Journal, I was told that the recent plunge in the stock market (significantly reducing the value of the retirement savings of tens of millions of Americans) was, like the plunge of Lion Air Flight 610, brought about by no human decision, but by the algorithmic operrations of computers that we have set up to make decisions for us. 

It is worth thinking about the lessons that might be learned from recent events on the stock market. According to the article I read, "Stock Rout Fueled By Market on Auto," the picture above, showing traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, reflects an illusion, not reality. Many, if not most, key financial decisions about the purchase and sale of stocks are not being made in the course of different trades between individual human beings; bots and algorithims are in charge, just as they are in charge of the planes to which we trust our lives. 

This might be a good time to rethink that!

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