A sensible stock market columnist?

It's like finding a good snow cone in the Kalahari, but Marek Fuchs seems to be one.

I must guiltily admit to following my employer's stock price and news stories on a daily basis. I know from Taleb why this is a bad idea, but given how much of my net worth it affects, I can't help it.

Unfortunately, most stories about any particular ticker are general market roundups, rather than in-depth pieces, and tend to be totally bogus, explaining every move via superficial consideration of the most salient events of the day. So I end up reading a lot of crap. Today, I read this piece by Fuchs which mocks all the crap:

Economic growth is steady and not overheated, inflation is (hopefully) contained, and the major indices will trudge higher on the strength of the good earnings, which will, in the end, be slightly more common than the bad.

But as articles on Thursday's 19th anniversary of the 1987 stock market crash abound and as flowery language attached to the Dow's piddling move above 12,000 display, the business media (generally young and never accused of having a long-term sense of business history) see only two routes for the market: a sharp downturn, via 1987, or a bubble ride up, circa the late 1990s.

You'd figure that the venerable Wall Street Journal might have a bead on our modest (though good) third way, but no. Its weigh-in on yesterday's 19.05-point, 0.2% close over 12,000?

"Home Run: Dow's First Close at 12,000."

Home run? The only place I should see that language is regarding the St. Louis Cardinals, and it kills me to even see that. But about a 0.2% gain? Maybe the headline writer had just taken some meds and was a bit too happy.

Nope, here's the lead: "Powered by once-skeptical investors rediscovering a passion for stocks..."

A powerful home run! Dropped skepticism! A rediscovered passion for stocks! All to the tune of, uh, 19 points on a base of 12,000.

One of my many prejudices about the world is that (in the language of Myers-Briggs), P's are better than J's. That is, people who remain open to many possibilities and see things in a nuanced fashion are more likely to get things right than people who have to pick one explanation or key factor and go with it. This is because the world, as it happens, is a very complicated place, and so nuanced explanations are much more likely to be correct. There are even some rough parallels here between the consequentalist/economic efficiency type of libertarianism (very P) and the natural rights version, particularly the black-and-whiteness of Objectivism (Ayn Rand was a pure J!). And in the bit quoted above, a willingness to see things as a little bad and a little good, but a little more good than bad, is much more likely to be right than to see every up day as the beginning a huge rally and every down day as the beginning of a crash.

Much easier on the stress levels, too.

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