Saturday, January 20, 2018

a guiding principle....................?

In a democratic society, such as the United States, where wealth is the ultimate determinant of status, there lingers a constant fear of being left behind materially.  We may say that the guiding principle of American society is not to grow richer in absolute terms, but to avoid becoming poorer in relative terms.  And nothing makes a man feel poorer than being a passive bystander during a bull market.   Therefore, the fiercest struggle for the preservation and restitution of economic equality in the United States takes place in the stock market, where everyone is seeking to discover what others are doing and anticipate what they intend to do.  As Keynes observed with all the cultural disdain of the Old World for the New:  "Even outside the field of finance, Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering what average opinion believes average opinion to be;  and this national weakness finds its nemesis in the stock market."

-Edward Chancellor,  Devil Take The Hindmost:  A History Of Financial Speculation

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