Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world
I went to my local bar last night with a blank piece of paper and a pen. I jotted down some notes.
ultra-social monkeys telling often self-serving stories
highly defended against threatening realities, including of course realities which reflect badly on them
since these monkeys are such fuck-ups, there's no end to painful, disgraceful realities that have to filtered, covered up, or distorted beyond all recognition
And so on. Then I got drunk. I really should finish that 4th Flatland essay. In that draft I call those self-serving stories humans tell themselves congruent outputs.
When I got up this morning, reluctantly, I saw that the Yale economist Robert Shiller had an interesting piece in the Times about humans telling themselves self-serving stories. It's called Rising Anxiety That Stocks Are Overpriced.
The average CAPE ratio [in the U.S. stock market] between 1881 and 2015 in the United States is 17; in July, it reached 27. Levels higher than that have occurred very few times, including the years surrounding the stock market peaks of 1929, 2000 and 2007. In all three of these instances, the stock market eventually collapsed.
Yes, there's a bubble in the stock market. In previous instances, which are rare, the stock market eventually collapsed. Two of those collapses occurred within the last 15 years. And yet, Americans have convinced themselves that this Fed-created "new normal" is a really good idea.
What did Jesus do? He wept.
If you want more details about Shiller's CAPE ratio and history, read his editorial. Those are the facts, but Shiller wants to talk about the psychology of what's going on in 2015. And of course that's exactly what we should be focused on.