Thursday, September 23, 2021

#266 / I Can't Understand The Markets

That is James Mackintosh pictured above. He writes a "Streetwise" column for The Wall Street Journal. The column title is not, really, or at least not intentionally, a reference to the dictionary definition of "streetwise" found in Merriam-Webster:

Definition of streetwise
Possessing the skills and attitudes necessary to survive in a difficult or dangerous situation or environment

Mackintosh is writing about Wall Street, and about the world's financial markets, and he has been given his column in The Journal because he, supposedly, has some expertise in this subject matter. 

Naturally, for those who might be reading the column for advice about what to do with their money, and who are relying on Mackintosh's expertise, the initial paragraph of his August 16, 2021, column might have been a bit nervous-making: 

I get uncomfortable when I can’t understand what’s going on in the markets, and I’m not really happy with my explanation for the weirdness of the Treasury market over the past few months. Given that pretty much everything else rests on Treasurys behaving sensibly, my level of discomfort is high (emphasis added).
Let me confess that I "can't understand what's going on in the markets," either, and that this disability is not a condition that has afflicted me only in the "past few months." Even though I have read The Wall Street Journal for years, I would never pretend to "understand" the machinations of those who move money and its equivalents around in the financial markets that people like Mackintosh scrutinize with such obsession. 
In fact, I long ago decided that I did not want to try to "make money" by investments, and by stock market "bets," and most recently by speculation in crypto-currencies and meme-stocks. That is not the way I want to provide food and shelter (and amenities) for me and for those I love. I decided that I should work for the money I need, rather than trying to "make money" by financial manipulations of one sort or another. 
That is an approach I recommend, and in my opinion, our government should be designing an economy that "works" for working men and women, instead of trying to make the financial markets "work" for those who want to "make money" in finance.
If our government had the interests of working men and women as its prime focus, "understanding the markets" wouldn't be such a big deal. 
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