Will Rogers – What would he say about… Today’s stock market
As I mentioned elsewhere in this blog, Will Rogers is a hero of mine. He was plain spoken half breed Indian from Oklahoma who became world famous during the 1920’s and 30’s. If you haven’t had a chance to read any of his books or some of his daily newspaper posts then I would highly recommend you do so. I never tire of reading him and I have read much of his work over a dozen times now!
So, to start this new category out in the spirit of Will Rogers I want to talk a little about the stock market. But first let’s talk about kids. In my day, that is the 1950’s, a kid who was overly active was just called frisky or just “full of the dickens”. I was to some degree one of that crowd. I was never satisfied with any of the answers adults kept giving me. I’m sure my parents tired of my questions. I always wanted to know more. From my studies of Albert Einstein I discovered he was very frisky. So I felt in good company. If kids today show these kind of tendencies they are usually hauled off to the doctor to be fixed. That fix has most often meant prescribing the drug Ritalin for them. I wonder how future history will change because we don’t allow kids to be frisky anymore? It saddens me to think of some of the potential we have probably lost.
Ritalin has a long generic name which I will skip here. Here is what I found on it “Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control”. As I look at this definition one of the first groups I think of is definitely not kids. It is those yahoos who control the stock markets. They definitely have problems with impulse control. It seems if someone just sneezes in the Middle East they all panic and sell and then they turn around the next day because some bureaucrat says one particular word in a speech somewhere. When I started seriously tracking the market in the late 1970s it was somewhat unusual for it to trade a million stocks in a day. Now that number typically exceeds one billion! Used to be you held a stock until the company proved that they could no longer make good decisions. Long term was measured in years and sometimes decades then. Now it seems, as far as the stock market traders are concerned it is measured in weeks if not days now!
I think part of the morning coffee for those traders should include a Ritalin or two! If there isn’t a big enough supply for both kids and stock traders let’s wean the kids off of it. It probably does more harm than good to most of them anyway. But it would certainly cause the traders to slow down a little. And as my favorite felon Martha Steward would say “that would be a good thing”.
And the journey goes on….