Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Remains Of The Bank Account


Megan is thrilled to be at the manor but can't understand why they keep telling her to dust the drawing room.

While Megan McArdle scans the internet looking for someone to explain what happened to the stock market to her, let's take a little look at one of her recent twitters.

Yup, my 401(k) sure did lose a lot of money this afternoon
about 14 hours ago via TweetDeck
asymmetricinfo


In "Remains of the Day" butler Anthony Hopkins elevates his job of catering to his rich boss to a higher calling, letting his devotion (and personal fears) keep him from having a relationship with Emma Thompson. She moves on but he never does, and the world leaves him behind. Megan McArdle, whose job is to do the equivalent of ironing newspapers and buttering toast for the financial industry's Masters of the Universe, once again is a victim of her own blind money worship. That's what happens when you think that just because you work for rich people, you are one of them.

No doubt a lot of people lost a lot of money yesterday, but not many can take pride in the realization that they helped smooth the way for their own exploitation. Kudos to Ms. McArdle.

UPDATE!: It's always nice to have confirmation.

It's a lovely Friday afternoon in May, and I know what you're doing: you're idly surfing the web and pretending to work. No judgement implied there: I'd be doing the same thing, except that idly surfing the web happens to be my job.


Also, we don't need to worry about 1,000 point drops in the stock market because the Free Hand has restored equilibrium and all is well is this, the best of all possible worlds.

The Wall Street Journal is running a poll that asks where the Dow will be by June. As of this morning, the bulk of the reponses voted for somewhere between 10,000 and 11,000. This is a good bet. As Burton Malkiel has so painstakingly elucidated, the stock market seems to move in a random walk--which is to say that at any moment it is as likely to go up as to go down. And as anyone who has analyzed mutual fund returns can tell you, almost all of the people who think that they are good at predicting stock market movements are deluding themselves--even relatively good active mutual fund managers don't consistently earn their fees. My best guess is that the market includes all currently known public information, and that therefore the most likely outcome is . . . for it to be just about where it is now.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't speculate wildly! What do y'all think? Up, down, or sideways?


Nobody knows anything, nobody understands anything, things just happen for systemic reasons beyond our control, so you don't have to study, read, think, analyze, or explain. Is it cocktail hour yet?

11 comments:

Morbo said...

And since this is McArdle we're talking about here you know she didn't even check her 401k to see if it had actually lost value.

bulbul said...

... chances are she doesn't even have a 401k and she's talking about the 401k she's been planning to set up for some time now.

Anonymous said...

Does she have any of her house-buying money in the stock market?

zeppo said...

I wish I had someone to iron my newspapers....

Susan of Texas said...

And sheets. Ironed sheets would be cool.

McArdle says she lost the deposit for her prospective house in the earlier stock crash, but now she's talking as if she has the money and a loan all lined up, so who knows?

Dillon said...

Megan is thrilled to be at the manor but can't understand why they keep telling her to dust the drawing room.

Ha!

At least the rent is cheap, and the landlord even threw in a little black dress for Megan and some gardening tools for Peter.

BillCinSD said...

Doesn't Megan use genetically altered monkey-libertarian hybrids to pick her stocks? and to edit her writings.

KWillow said...

Quantum Economics, and Schrodinger's Cat control Wall Street? Wll, I'd trust them over Goldman & their nifty computers.

KWillow said...

Schrodinger's cat controls Wall Street? Well, I'd trust it more than Goldmans & their front running computers. But are they really there?

DocAmazing said...

You'd have to look far to find another economic porn star who moans so prettily while being fisted by the Invisible Hand.

bill said...

"And as anyone who has analyzed mutual fund returns can tell you, almost all of the people who think that they are good at predicting stock market movements are deluding themselves."

Now, let's turn Social Security over to Wall Street. Yay!