Stock Price Quotes

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When someone works for less pay than she can live on — when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently — then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The 'working poor,' as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed)
invest only if you would be comfortable owning a stock even if you had no way of knowing its daily share price.3
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
Greenspan's eventual explanation for the growing gap between stock prices and actual productivity was that, fortuitously, the laws of nature had changed -- humanity had reached a happy stage of history where bullshit could be used as rocket fuel.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
A stock is not just a ticker symbol or an electronic blip; it is an ownership interest in an actual business, with an underlying value that does not depend on its share price.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
We need a moderately-priced stock market… The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But, unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do. For the investor, a too-high purchase price for the stock of an excellent company can undo the effects of a subsequent decade of favorable business developments.
Warren Buffett
Real investors talk more about business than about stock prices. Real investors are reading company P&L statements and Balance Sheets and getting on Earnings Calls. Real investors are learning about customers and attending meetings and getting involved.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Craziness is only a matter of degree, and there are lots of people besides me who have the urge to roll heads. They go to stock-car races and the horror movies and the wrestling matches they have in Portland Expo. Maybe what she said smacked of all those things, but I admired her for saying out loud, all the same--the price of honesty is always high. She had an admirable grasp of the fundamentals. Besides, she was tiny and pretty.
Richard Bachman (Rage)
If you can follow only one bit of data, follow the earnings—assuming the company in question has earnings. As you’ll see in this text, I subscribe to the crusty notion that sooner or later earnings make or break an investment in equities. What the stock price does today, tomorrow, or next week is only a distraction.
Peter Lynch (One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In)
Today you can buy the Dialogues of Plato for less than you would spend on a fifth of whiskey, or Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for the price of a cheap shirt. You can buy a fair beginning of an education in any bookstore with a good stock of paperback books for less than you would spend on a week's supply of gasoline.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
The value of a company has very little to do with it's stock price.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit” seems like the motto not just for Chopra but for the entire conference. Benioff and his philanthropy, the dry ice and fog machines, the concerts and comedians: None of this has anything to do with software or technology. It’s a show, created to entertain people, boost sales, and fluff a stock price.
Dan Lyons (Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble)
All conservative ideologies justify existing inequities as the natural order of things, inevitable outcomes of human nature. If the very rich are naturally so much more capable than the rest of us, why must they be provided with so many artificial privileges under the law, so many bailouts, subsidies and other special considerations - at our expense? Their "naturally superior talents" include unprincipled and illegal subterfuge such as price-fixing, stock manipulation, insider training, fraud, tax evasion, the legal enforcement of unfair competition, ecological spoliation, harmful products and unsafe work conditions. One might expect naturally superior people not to act in such rapacious and venal ways. Differences in talent and capacity as might exist between individuals do not excuse the crimes and injustices that are endemic to the corporate business system.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
And back in the spring of 1720, Sir Isaac Newton owned shares in the South Sea Company, the hottest stock in England. Sensing that the market was getting out of hand, the great physicist muttered that he “could calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of the people.” Newton dumped his South Sea shares, pocketing a 100% profit totaling £7,000. But just months later, swept up in the wild enthusiasm of the market, Newton jumped back in at a much higher price—and lost £20,000 (or more than $3 million in today’s money). For the rest of his life, he forbade anyone to speak the words “South Sea” in his presence. 4
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
Then, in the 1980's, came the paroxysm of downsizing, and the very nature of the corporation was thrown into doubt. In what began almost as a fad and quickly matured into an unshakable habit, companies were 'restructuring,' 'reengineering,' and generally cutting as many jobs as possible, white collar as well as blue . . . The New York Times captured the new corporate order succintly in 1987, reporting that it 'eschews loyalty to workers, products, corporate structures, businesses, factories, communities, even the nation. All such allegiances are viewed as expendable under the new rules. With survival at stake, only market leadership, strong profits and a high stock price can be allowed to matter'.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America)
Since the profits that companies can earn are finite, the price that investors should be willing to pay for stocks must also be finite.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
they were “very clever in inventing reasons” for a sudden rise or fall in stock prices,
John Brooks (Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street)
wyoming forever. You could wyom all day and not make any progress. To wyom was to go from nowhere to nowhere. Through nowhere. To see nothing. To do nothing but sit. You turn on the radio and wyom through the dial slowly, carefully in search of a sliver of civilization only to find a man talking about the price of stock animals and feed. You listen to a dour preacher wyoming about your bored and dying and wyoming soul.
Smith Henderson (Fourth of July Creek)
Investing isn’t a game - It has a substantive impact on the living of life and the development of civilization. It’s not just about stock tickers and opening bells and timing buys and sells to get a quick profit in the gap…. It effects when and where houses are built, the quality of schools, the accessibility of organic food, the price of solar relative to gasoline…. Investments direct the development of civilization.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Be that as it may, for our present purposes, a bottom line emerges: Stock prices are not independent. Today's action can, at least slightly, affect tomorrow's action. The standard model is, again, wrong.
Benoît B. Mandelbrot (The (Mis)Behavior of Markets)
She could not explain in so many words, but she felt that those who prepare for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy. It is necessary to prepare for an examination, or a dinner-party, or a possible fall in the price of stock: those who attempt human relations must adopt another method, or fail.
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
The intelligent investor realizes that stocks become more risky, not less, as their prices rise—and less risky, not more, as their prices fall. The intelligent investor dreads a bull market, since it makes stocks more costly to buy. And conversely (so long as you keep enough cash on hand to meet your spending needs), you should welcome a bear market, since it puts stocks back on sale. 8
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
What’s really worried me over the years is not our stock price, but that we might someday fail to take care of our customers, or that our managers might fail to motivate and take care of our associates. I also was worried that we might lose the team concept, or fail to keep the family concept viable and realistic and meaningful to our folks as we grow. Those challenges are more real than somebody’s theory that we’re headed down the wrong path. As
Sam Walton (Sam Walton: Made In America)
Shopping the equity market solely based on stock prices is like shopping for groceries solely based on food prices as opposed to the quality of the food. Price matters, but what really matters is the value that you get for the price.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
A man must know himself thoroughly if he is going to make a good job out of trading in the speculative markets. To know what I was capable of in the line of folly was a long educational step. I sometimes think that no price is too high for a speculator to pay to learn that which will keep him from getting the swelled head.
Jesse Livermore (Reminiscences of a Stock Operator)
One of de la Vega’s observations about the Amsterdam traders was that they were “very clever in inventing reasons” for a sudden rise or fall in stock prices,
John Brooks (Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street: The New York Times bestseller Bill Gates calls 'the best business book I've ever read')
The “working poor,” as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else. As Gail, one of my restaurant coworkers put it, “you give and you give.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America)
Virtually every superperformance phase in big, winning stocks occurred while the stock price was in a definite price uptrend. In almost every case, the trend was identifiable early in the superperformance advance.
Mark Minervini (Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard: How to Achieve Super Performance in Stocks in Any Market: How to Achieve Superperformance in Stocks in Any Market)
Christian communities arising from celebration do not want their lives changed, because their lives are in a good place. Tax rates should remain low. Home prices and stocks should continue to rise unabated, while interest rates should remain low to borrow more money to feed a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
Soong-Chan Rah (Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times)
Moderately fast growers (20 to 25 percent) in nongrowth industries are ideal investments. • Look for companies with niches. • When purchasing depressed stocks in troubled companies, seek out the ones with the superior financial positions and avoid the ones with loads of bank debt. • Companies that have no debt can’t go bankrupt. • Managerial ability may be important, but it’s quite difficult to assess. Base your purchases on the company’s prospects, not on the president’s resume or speaking ability. • A lot of money can be made when a troubled company turns around. • Carefully consider the price-earnings ratio. If the stock is grossly overpriced, even if everything else goes right, you won’t make any money. • Find a story line to follow as a way of monitoring a company’s progress. • Look for companies that consistently buy back their own shares.
Peter Lynch (One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In)
Unknown Assassin, says the headline. Blanche skips over the details she already knows. How bizarre to see what she lived through last night turned into an item tucked between stock prices and Crazy Horse whupping the army at Little Bighorn.
Emma Donoghue (Frog Music)
It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine--that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon.
Edwin Lefèvre
To Summarize briefly: A white rabbit is pulled out of a top hat. Because it is an extremely large rabbit, the trick takes many billions of years. All mortals are born at the very tip of the rabbit's fine hairs. where they are in a position to wonder at the impossibility of the trick. But as they grow older they work themselves even deeper into the fur. And there they stay. They become so comfortable they never risk crawling back up the fragile hairs again. Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of the fall off, but other cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink. 'Ladies and gentlemen,' they yell, 'we are floating in space!' but none of the people down there care. 'What a bunch of troublemakers!' they say. And they keep on chatting: Would you pass the butter, please? How much have our stocks risen today? What is the price of tomatoes? Have you heard that Princes Di is expecting again?
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World)
Shopping the equity market solely based on stock prices is like shopping at the grocery store solely based on food prices instead of based on the quality of food — you may end up with a full pantry, and poor health. Price matters. But it’s really about the value that you get for the price.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Several years ago, researchers at the University of Minnesota identified 568 men and women over the age of seventy who were living independently but were at high risk of becoming disabled because of chronic health problems, recent illness, or cognitive changes. With their permission, the researchers randomly assigned half of them to see a team of geriatric nurses and doctors—a team dedicated to the art and science of managing old age. The others were asked to see their usual physician, who was notified of their high-risk status. Within eighteen months, 10 percent of the patients in both groups had died. But the patients who had seen a geriatrics team were a quarter less likely to become disabled and half as likely to develop depression. They were 40 percent less likely to require home health services. These were stunning results. If scientists came up with a device—call it an automatic defrailer—that wouldn’t extend your life but would slash the likelihood you’d end up in a nursing home or miserable with depression, we’d be clamoring for it. We wouldn’t care if doctors had to open up your chest and plug the thing into your heart. We’d have pink-ribbon campaigns to get one for every person over seventy-five. Congress would be holding hearings demanding to know why forty-year-olds couldn’t get them installed. Medical students would be jockeying to become defrailulation specialists, and Wall Street would be bidding up company stock prices. Instead, it was just geriatrics. The geriatric teams weren’t doing lung biopsies or back surgery or insertion of automatic defrailers. What they did was to simplify medications. They saw that arthritis was controlled. They made sure toenails were trimmed and meals were square. They looked for worrisome signs of isolation and had a social worker check that the patient’s home was safe. How do we reward this kind of work? Chad Boult, the geriatrician who was the lead investigator of the University of Minnesota study, can tell you. A few months after he published the results, demonstrating how much better people’s lives were with specialized geriatric care, the university closed the division of geriatrics.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
When by an increase in the effectual demand, the market price of some particular commodity happens to rise a good deal above the natural price, those who employ their stocks in supplying that market are generally careful to conceal this change.
Adam Smith (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Crofts Classics))
We had all opted to take City's financial reporting course work, which, in theory, meant we wanted to write about stock prices and corporate takeovers. That, of course, was a joke. No one still in their twenties, and broke, goes into journalism to write about money—a subject in which they still have zero practical experience.
Chris Ayres (War Reporting for Cowards)
During the dot-com bubble, most people did not use a persuasive theory to gauge whether stock prices were too high, too low, or just right. Instead, as they watched stock prices go up, they invented explanations to rationalize what was happening. They talked about Moore’s Law, smart kids, and Alan Greenspan. Data without theory.
Gary Smith (Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics)
Cruelty links all three primitives [pleasure, pain, and desire]: Spinoza defines it as the desire to inflict pain on someone we love or pity. Financial speaking, cruelty is analogous to a convertible bond whose debt and equity depend on three economic underliers: the stock price, the level of interest rates, and the credit worthiness of the company's debt.
Emanuel Derman (Models.Behaving.Badly: Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life)
Liking or disliking a Share you are hoding is not a function of its price movement!
Sandeep Sahajpal (The Twelfth Preamble: To all the authors to be! (Short Stories Book 1))
When profit margins of a whole industry rise because of repeated price increases, the indication is not a good one for the long-range investor.
Philip A. Fisher (Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (Wiley Investment Classics))
No,” said a third student. “Novartis is a public company. It’s not the boss or the board who decides. It’s the shareholders. If the board changes its priorities the shareholders will just elect a new board.” “That’s right,” I said. “It’s the shareholders who want this company to spend their money on researching rich people’s illnesses. That’s how they get a good return on their shares.” So there’s nothing wrong with the employees, the boss, or the board, then. “Now, the question is”—I looked at the student who had first suggested the face punching—“who owns the shares in these big pharmaceutical companies?” “Well, it’s the rich.” He shrugged. “No. It’s actually interesting because pharmaceutical shares are very stable. When the stock market goes up and down, or oil prices go up and down, pharma shares keep giving a pretty steady return. Many other kinds of companies’ shares follow the economy—they do better or worse as people go on spending sprees or cut back—but the cancer patients always need treatment. So who owns the shares in these stable companies?” My young audience looked back at me, their faces like one big question mark. “It’s retirement funds.” Silence. “So maybe I don’t have to do any punching, because I will not meet the shareholders. But you will. This weekend, go visit your grandma and punch her in the face. If you feel you need someone to blame and punish, it’s the seniors and their greedy need for stable stocks.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
What is weak, emphasize as strong. Not sure how to pronounce a word? Then say it loudly with confidence. If technology is outdated, the company board of directors will spend fortunes advertising that their products are the newest and best. To finance the lies, the board will fire a third of the employees, making stock prices go up. Then, before customers disconnect and go to competitors, the company will have made enough money on its lies to buy a startup company with new technology. But, of course, the new technology should not be a backdoor for thieves.
Steve S. Saroff (Paper Targets: Art Can Be Murder)
...and with this reminder other things came to her -- how strange it was that, with all allowance for their merit, it should befall some people to be so inordinantly valued, quoted, as they said in the stock-market, so high, and how still stranger, perhaps, that there should be cases in which, for some reason, one didn't mind the so frequently marked absence in them of the purpose really to represent their price.
Henry James (The Golden Bowl)
Soon, challenges against the Post's ownership of two television stations in Florida were filed with the Federal Communications Commission. The price of Post stock on the American Exchange dropped by almost 50 percent. Among the challengers - forming the organizations of 'citizens' who proposed to become the new FCC licensees - were several persons long associated with the President. -- Carl Bernsein, Bob Woodward
Carl Bernstein (All the President's Men)
The realms of dating, marriage, and sex are all marketplaces, and we are the products. Some may bristle at the idea of people as products on a marketplace, but this is an incredibly prevalent dynamic. Consider the labor marketplace, where people are also the product. Just as in the labor marketplace, one party makes an offer to another, and based on the terms of this offer, the other person can choose to accept it or walk. What makes the dating market so interesting is that the products we are marketing, selling, buying, and exchanging are essentially our identities and lives. As with all marketplaces, every item in stock has a value, and that value is determined by its desirability. However, the desirability of a product isn’t a fixed thing—the desirability of umbrellas increases in areas where it is currently raining while the desirability of a specific drug may increase to a specific individual if it can cure an illness their child has, even if its wider desirability on the market has not changed. In the world of dating, the two types of desirability we care about most are: - Aggregate Desirability: What the average demand within an open marketplace would be for a relationship with a particular person. - Individual Desirability: What the desirability of a relationship with an individual is from the perspective of a specific other individual. Imagine you are at a fish market and deciding whether or not to buy a specific fish: - Aggregate desirability = The fish’s market price that day - Individual desirability = What you are willing to pay for the fish Aggregate desirability is something our society enthusiastically emphasizes, with concepts like “leagues.” Whether these are revealed through crude statements like, “that guy's an 8,” or more politically correct comments such as, “I believe she may be out of your league,” there is a tacit acknowledgment by society that every individual has an aggregate value on the public dating market, and that value can be judged at a glance. When what we have to trade on the dating market is often ourselves, that means that on average, we are going to end up in relationships with people with an aggregate value roughly equal to our own (i.e., individuals “within our league”). Statistically speaking, leagues are a real phenomenon that affects dating patterns. Using data from dating websites, the University of Michigan found that when you sort online daters by desirability, they seem to know “their place.” People on online dating sites almost never send a message to someone less desirable than them, and on average they reach out to prospects only 25% more desirable than themselves. The great thing about these markets is how often the average desirability of a person to others is wildly different than their desirability to you. This gives you the opportunity to play arbitrage with traits that other people don’t like, but you either like or don’t mind. For example, while society may prefer women who are not overweight, a specific individual within the marketplace may prefer obese women, or even more interestingly may have no preference. If a guy doesn’t care whether his partner is slim or obese, then he should specifically target obese women, as obesity lowers desirability on the open marketplace, but not from his perspective, giving him access to women who are of higher value to him than those he could secure within an open market.
Malcolm Collins (The Pragmatist's Guide to Relationships: Ruthlessly Optimized Strategies for Dating, Sex, and Marriage)
Look for growth situations with low price-earnings multiples. If the growth takes place, there’s often a double bonus—both the earnings and the multiple rise, producing large gains. Beware of very high multiple stocks in which future growth is already discounted. If growth doesn’t materialize, losses are doubly heavy—both the earnings and the multiples drop.
Burton G. Malkiel (A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing)
The true investor scarcely ever is forced to sell his shares, and at all other times he is free to disregard the current price quotation. He need pay attention to it and act upon it only to the extent that it suits his book, and no more.* Thus the investor who permits himself to be stampeded or unduly worried by unjustified market declines in his holdings is perversely transforming his basic advantage into a basic disadvantage. That man would be better off if his stocks had no market quotation at all, for he would then be spared the mental anguish caused him by other persons’ mistakes of judgment.†
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
They" hate us because they feel--and "they" are not wrong--that it is within our power to do so much more, and that we practice a kind of passive-aggressive violence on the Third World. We do this by, for example, demonizing tobacco as poison here while promoting cigarettes in Asia; inflating produce prices by paying farmers not to grow food as millions go hungry worldwide; skimping on quality and then imposing tariffs on foreign products made better or cheaper than our own; padding corporate profits through Third World sweatshops; letting drug companies stand by as millions die of AIDS in Africa to keep prices up on lifesaving drugs; and on and on. We do, upon reaching a very high comfort level, mostly choose to go from ten to eleven instead of helping another guy far away go from zero to one. We even do it in our own country. Barbara Ehrenreich's brilliant book Nickel and Dimed describes the impossibility of living with dignity or comfort as one of the millions of minimum-wage workers in fast food, aisle-stocking and table-waiting jobs. Their labor for next to nothing ensures that well-off people can be a little more pampered. So if we do it to our own, what chance do foreigners have?
Bill Maher (When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism)
Your goal as an investor should be simply to purchase, at a rational price, a part interest in an easily understood business whose earnings are virtually certain to be materially higher, five, ten, and twenty years from now. Over time, you will find only a few companies that meet those standards-so when you see one that qualifies, you should buy a meaningful amount of stock.
Robert G. Hagstrom (The Warren Buffett Way: Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor)
The three of us exchanged glances but said nothing. After all, what was there to say? The truth was that hookers did take credit cards—or at least ours did! In fact, hookers were so much a part of the Stratton subculture that we classified them like publicly traded stocks: Blue Chips were considered the top-of-the-line hooker, zee crème de la crème. They were usually struggling young models or exceptionally beautiful college girls in desperate need of tuition or designer clothing, and for a few thousand dollars they would do almost anything imaginable, either to you or to each other. Next came the NASDAQs, who were one step down from the Blue Chips. They were priced between three and five hundred dollars and made you wear a condom unless you gave them a hefty tip, which I always did. Then came the Pink Sheet hookers, who were the lowest form of all, usually a streetwalker or the sort of low-class hooker who showed up in response to a desperate late-night phone call to a number in Screw magazine or the yellow pages. They usually cost a hundred dollars or less, and if you didn’t wear a condom, you’d get a penicillin shot the next day and then pray that your dick didn’t fall off. Anyway, the Blue Chips took credit cards, so what was wrong with writing them off on your taxes? After all, the IRS knew about this sort of stuff, didn’t they? In fact, back in the good old days, when getting blasted over lunch was considered normal corporate behavior, the IRS referred to these types of expenses as three-martini lunches! They even had an accounting term for it: It was called T and E, which stood for Travel and Entertainment. All I’d done was taken the small liberty of moving things to their logical conclusion, changing T and E to T and A: Tits and Ass!
Jordan Belfort (The Wolf of Wall Street)
If you buy an S&P 500 index fund, your investment is highly diversified and its performance will match that of 500 leading U.S. corporations' stocks. Is it possible to lose all of your money? Yes, but the odds of that happening are slim and none. If 500 leading U.S. corporations all have their stock prices plummet to zero, the value of your investment portfolio will be the least of your problems. An economic collapse of that magnitude would make the Great Depression look like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
Taylor Larimore (The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing)
I also hope to challenge financial thinkers to improve their theories by testing them against the impressive evidence that suggests that the price level is more than merely the sum of the available economic information, as is now generally thought to be the case.
Robert J. Shiller (Irrational Exuberance)
Printing dollars at home means higher inflation in China, higher food prices in Egypt and stock bubbles in Brazil. Printing money means that U.S. debt is devalued so foreign creditors get paid back in cheaper dollars. The devaluation means higher unemployment in developing economies as their exports become more expensive for Americans. The resulting inflation also means higher prices for inputs needed in developing economies like copper, corn, oil and wheat. Foreign countries have begun to fight back against U.S.-caused inflation through subsidies, tariffs and capital controls; the currency war is expanding fast.
James Rickards (Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis)
Despite his new fame and fortune, he still fancied himself a child of the counterculture. On a visit to a Stanford class, he took off his Wilkes Bashford blazer and his shoes, perched on top of a table, and crossed his legs into a lotus position. The students asked questions, such as when Apple’s stock price would rise, which Jobs brushed off. Instead he spoke of his passion for future products, such as someday making a computer as small as a book. When the business questions tapered off, Jobs turned the tables on the well-groomed students. “How many of you are virgins?” he asked. There were nervous giggles. “How many of you have taken LSD?” More nervous laughter, and only one or two hands went up. Later Jobs would complain about the new generation of kids, who seemed to him more materialistic and careerist than his own. “When I went to school, it was right after the sixties and before this general wave of practical purposefulness had set in,” he said. “Now students aren’t even thinking in idealistic terms, or at least nowhere near as much.” His generation, he said, was different. “The idealistic wind of the sixties is still at our backs, though, and most of the people I know who are my age have that ingrained in them forever.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Some readers are bound to want to take the techniques we’ve introduced here and try them on the problem of forecasting the future price of securities on the stock market (or currency exchange rates, and so on). Markets have very different statistical characteristics than natural phenomena such as weather patterns. Trying to use machine learning to beat markets, when you only have access to publicly available data, is a difficult endeavor, and you’re likely to waste your time and resources with nothing to show for it. Always remember that when it comes to markets, past performance is not a good predictor of future returns—looking in the rear-view mirror is a bad way to drive. Machine learning, on the other hand, is applicable to datasets where the past is a good predictor of the future.
François Chollet (Deep Learning with Python)
Morgan then formed the U.S. Steel Corporation, combining Carnegie’s corporation with others. He sold stocks and bonds for $1,300,000,000 (about 400 million more than the combined worth of the companies) and took a fee of 150 million for arranging the consolidation. How could dividends be paid to all those stockholders and bondholders? By making sure Congress passed tariffs keeping out foreign steel; by closing off competition and maintaining the price at $28 a ton; and by working 200,000 men twelve hours a day for wages that barely kept their families alive. And so it went, in industry after industry—shrewd, efficient businessmen building empires, choking out competition, maintaining high prices, keeping wages low, using government subsidies. These industries were the first beneficiaries of the “welfare state.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
No one is alone in this world. No act is without consequences for others. It is a tenet of chaos theory that, in dynamical systems, the outcome of any process is sensitive to its starting point-or, in the famous cliche, the flap of a butterfly's wings in the Amazon can cause a tornado in Texas. I do not assert markets are chaotic, though my fractal geometry is one of the primary mathematical tools of "chaology." But clearly, the global economy is an unfathomably complicated machine. To all the complexity of the physical world of weather, crops, ores, and factories, you add the psychological complexity of men acting on their fleeting expectations of what may or may not happen-sheer phantasms. Companies and stock prices, trade flows and currency rates, crop yields and commodity futures-all are inter-related to one degree or another, in ways we have barely begun to understand. In such a world, it is common sense that events in the distant past continue to echo in the present.
Benoît B. Mandelbrot (The (Mis)Behavior of Markets)
Global warming, environmental degradation, global flows of economic speculation and risk taking, overpopulation, global debt, new viruses, terrorism and warfare, and political polarization are killing us. Dealing with big questions takes a long-term view, cooperation, delayed gratification, and deep learning that crosses traditional silos of knowledge production. All of these are in short supply today. In the United States and much of the developed world, decisions are based on short-term interests and gain (e.g., stock prices or election cycles), as well as pandering to ignorance. Such decisions make the world worse, not better, and bring Armageddon ever closer.
James Paul Gee (The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning)
students need only two well-taught courses—How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices. Your goal as an investor should simply be to purchase, at a rational price, a part interest in an easily-understandable business whose earnings are virtually certain to be materially higher five, ten and twenty years from now. Over time, you will find only a few companies that meet these standards—so when you see one that qualifies, you should buy a meaningful amount of stock. You must also resist the temptation to stray from your guidelines: If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes. Put together a portfolio of companies whose aggregate earnings march upward over the years, and so also will the portfolio’s market value. Though it’s seldom recognized, this is the exact approach
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders, 2022)
The most realistic distinction between the investor and the speculator is found in their attitude toward stock-market movements. The speculator’s primary interest lies in anticipating and profiting from market fluctuations. The investor’s primary interest lies in acquiring and holding suitable securities at suitable prices. Market movements are important to him in a practical sense, because they alternately create low price levels at which he would be wise to buy and high price levels at which he certainly should refrain from buying and probably would be wise to sell. It is far from certain that the typical investor should regularly hold off buying until low market levels appear, because this may involve a long wait, very likely the loss of income, and the possible missing of investment opportunities. On the whole it may be better for the investor to do his stock buying whenever he has money to put in stocks, except when the general market level is much higher than can be justified by well-established standards of value. If he wants to be shrewd he can look for the ever-present bargain opportunities in individual securities. Aside from forecasting the movements of the general market, much effort and ability are directed on Wall Street toward selecting stocks or industrial groups that in matter of price will “do better” than the rest over a fairly short period in the future. Logical as this endeavor may seem, we do not believe it is suited to the needs or temperament of the true investor—particularly since he would be competing with a large number of stock-market traders and first-class financial analysts who are trying to do the same thing. As in all other activities that emphasize price movements first and underlying values second, the work of many intelligent minds constantly engaged in this field tends to be self-neutralizing and self-defeating over the years. The investor with a portfolio of sound stocks should expect their prices to fluctuate and should neither be concerned by sizable declines nor become excited by sizable advances. He should always remember that market quotations are there for his convenience, either to be taken advantage of or to be ignored. He should never buy a stock because it has gone up or sell one because it has gone down. He would not be far wrong if this motto read more simply: “Never buy a stock immediately after a substantial rise or sell one immediately after a substantial drop.” An
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
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Mayank Tanwar
The worst continued to worsen. What looked one day like the end proved on the next day to have been only the beginning. Nothing could have been more ingeniously designed to maximize the suffering, and also to insure that as few people as possible escape the common misfortune. The fortunate speculator who had funds to answer the first margin call presently got another and equally urgent one, and if he met that there would still be another. In the end all the money he had was extracted from him and lost. The man with the smart money, who was safely out of the market when the first crash came, naturally went back in to pick up bargains. The bargains then suffered a ruinous fall. Even the man who waited for volume of trading to return to normal and saw Wall Street become as placid as a produce market, and who then bought common stocks would see their value drop to a third or a fourth of the purchase price in the next 24 months. The Coolidge bull market was a remarkable phenomenon. The ruthlessness of its liquidation was, in its own way, equally remarkable.
John Kenneth Galbraith (The Great Crash 1929)
But money doesn’t work in the sense that labor or tangible capital expends effort to produce commodities. Credit is debt, and debt extracts interest. Financial salesmen who promise investors, “Make your money work for you” actually mean that society should work for the creditors — and that means for the banks that create credit. The effect is to turn the economic surplus into a flow of interest payments, diverting revenue from tangible capital investment. As the economy’s reproductive powers are dried up, the financialization process is kept going by easing credit terms and lending — not to produce more goods and services, but to bid up prices for the real estate, stocks and bonds being pledged as collateral for larger and larger loans.
Michael Hudson (The Bubble and Beyond)
After spending many years in Wall Street and after making and losing millions of dollars I want to tell you this: It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon. I found it one of the hardest things to learn. But it is only after a stock operator has firmly grasped this that he can make big money. It is literally true that millions come easier to a trader after he knows how to trade than hundreds did in the days of his ignorance.
Edwin Lefèvre (Reminiscences of a Stock Operator)
The motivation for taking on debt is to buy assets or claims rising in price. Over the past half-century the aim of financial investment has been less to earn profits on tangible capital investment than to generate “capital” gains (most of which take the form of debt-leveraged land prices, not industrial capital). Annual price gains for property, stocks and bonds far outstrip the reported real estate rents, corporate profits and disposable personal income after paying for essential non-discretionary spending, headed by FIRE [Finance, Insurance, Real Estate]-sector charges.
Michael Hudson (The Bubble and Beyond)
Many historians, many sociologists and psychologists have written at lenght, and with deep concern, about the price that Western man has had to pay and will go on paying for technological progress. They point out, for example, that democracy can be hardly expected to flourish in societies where political and economic power is being progressively concentrated and centralized.But the progress of technology has led and is still leading to just such a concentration and centralisation of power. As the machinery of mass production is made more efficient it tends to become more complex and more expensive - and so less available to the eterpriser of limited means. Moreover, mass production cannot work without mass distribution; but mass distribution raises problems which only the largest producers can satisfactorily solve. In a world of mass production and mass distribution the Little Man, with his inadequate stock of working capital, is at a grave disadvantage. In competition with Big Man, he loses his money and finally his very existence as an independent producer; the Big Man has grobbled him up. As the Little Men disappear, more and more economic power comes to be wielded by fewer and fewer people. Under a dictatorship the Big Business, made possible by advancing technology and the consequent ruin of Little Business, is controlled by the State - that is to say, by small group of party leaders and soldiers, policemen and civil servants who carry out their orders.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
Reliability investing requires finding companies trading below their inherent worth--stocks with strong fundamentals including earnings, dividends, book value, and cash flow selling at bargain prices give their quality.
Ini-Amah Lambert (Cracking the Stock Market Code: How to Make Money in Shares)
Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.' Easier said than done for the vast majority of stock traders. ... On every stock trade there is someone who wants to sell and someone who wants to buy, at least at a particular price. ...the person who is selling thinks that she is getting out just in time while the person buying thinks that he is about to make good money. ... The truth is that the market doesn't really reflect some magical perfect valuation of a stock under the efficient market hypothesis. It reflects the mass consensus of how actual individual investors value the stock. It is the sum total of everyone's hopes and fears...
M.E. Thomas (Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight)
Investors who focus on currencies, bonds, and stock markets generally assume a normal distribution of price changes: values jiggle up and down, but extreme moves are unusual. Of course, extreme moves are possible, as financial crashes show. But between 1985 and 2015, the S&P 500 stock index budged less than 3 percent from its starting point on 7,663 out of 7,817 days; in other words, for fully 98 percent of the time, the market is remarkably stable.
Sebastian Mallaby (The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future)
Investment Owner’s Contract I, _____________ ___________________, hereby state that I am an investor who is seeking to accumulate wealth for many years into the future. I know that there will be many times when I will be tempted to invest in stocks or bonds because they have gone (or “are going”) up in price, and other times when I will be tempted to sell my investments because they have gone (or “are going”) down. I hereby declare my refusal to let a herd of strangers make my financial decisions for me. I further make a solemn commitment never to invest because the stock market has gone up, and never to sell because it has gone down. Instead, I will invest $______.00 per month, every month, through an automatic investment plan or “dollar-cost averaging program,” into the following mutual fund(s) or diversified portfolio(s): _________________________________, _________________________________, _________________________________. I will also invest additional amounts whenever I can afford to spare the cash (and can afford to lose it in the short run). I hereby declare that I will hold each of these investments continually through at least the following date (which must be a minimum of 10 years after the date of this contact): _________________ _____, 20__. The only exceptions allowed under the terms of this contract are a sudden, pressing need for cash, like a health-care emergency or the loss of my job, or a planned expenditure like a housing down payment or a tuition bill. I am, by signing below, stating my intention not only to abide by the terms of this contract, but to re-read this document whenever I am tempted to sell any of my investments. This contract is valid only when signed by at least one witness, and must be kept in a safe place that is easily accessible for future reference.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
One, which I mention several times elsewhere, is the need for patience if big profits are to be made from investment. Put another way, it is often easier to tell what will happen to the price of a stock than how much time will elapse before it happens. The other is the inherently deceptive nature of the stock market. Doing what everybody else is doing at the moment, and therefore what you have an almost irresistible urge to do, is often the wrong thing to do at all.
Philip A. Fisher (Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (Wiley Investment Classics Book 6))
If the random-walk view is correct, today's stock prices embody all relevant information. The only thing that would make them change is the availability of new information. Since we have no way of knowing what that new information might be, there is no mean for stock prices to regress to. In other words, there is no such thing as a temporary stock price-that is, a price that sits in limbo before moving to some other point. That is also why changes are unpredictable.
Peter L. Bernstein (Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk)
Conversely, as such a stock rises to, say, 50 or 60 or 70, the urge to sell and take a profit now that the stock is “high” becomes irresistible to many people. Giving in to this urge can be very costly. This is because the genuinely worthwhile profits in stock investing have come from holding the surprisingly large number of stocks that have gone up many times from their original cost. The only true test of whether a stock is “cheap” or “high” is not its current price in relation to some former price, no matter how accustomed we may have become to that former price, but whether the company’s fundamentals are significantly more or less favorable than the current financial-community appraisal of that stock.
Philip A. Fisher (Philip A. Fisher Collected Works: Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits / Paths to Wealth through Common Stocks / Conservative Investors Sleep Well / Developing an Investment Philosophy)
Alan and his wife had worked all their lives, and managed to sock away a million dollars for retirement. But four months earlier he’d gotten the idea that, despite having no experience in the markets, he should buy a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of GM stock, based on reports that the U.S. government might bail out the auto industry. He was convinced it was a no-lose investment. After his trade went through, the media reported that the bailout might not happen after all. The market sold off GM and the stock price fell. But Alan imagined the thrill of winning big. It felt so real he could taste it. He held firm. The stock fell again, and again, and kept dropping until finally Alan decided to sell, at a big loss. There was worse to come. When the next news cycle suggested that the bailout would happen after all, Alan got excited all over again and invested another hundred thousand dollars, buying more stock at the lower price. But the same thing happened: the bailout started looking uncertain.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Alterations in real prices occur slowly as a rule. But this stability of prices has its cause in the stability of the price-determinants, not in the Law of Price-determination itself. Prices change slowly because the subjective valuations of human beings change slowly. Human needs, and human opinions as to the suitability of goods for satisfying those needs, are no more liable to frequent and sudden changes than are the stocks of goods available for consumption, or the manner of their social distribution;
Ludwig von Mises (The Theory of Money and Credit (Liberty Fund Library of the Works of Ludwig von Mises))
But suppose it past,—suppose one of these men, as I have seen them meagre with famine, sullen with despair, careless of a life which your lordships are perhaps about to value at something less than the price of a stocking-frame ; suppose this man surrounded by those children for whom he is unable to procure bread at the hazard of his existence, about to be torn for ever from a family which he lately supported in peaceful industry, and which it is not his fault than he can no longer so support; suppose this man—and there are ten thousand such from whom you may select your victims,—dragged into court to be tried for this new offence, by this new law,—still there are two things wanting to convict and condemn him, and these are, in my opinion, twelve butchers for a jury, and a Jefferies for a judge!
Lord Byron
Douglass found little encouragement in the behavior of the Northern public during the secession crisis. The bulk of white Northerners had always viewed abolitionists with suspicion or contempt, and with the threat of disunion in the air, hostility to antislavery agitators rose to new levels of violence. By December 1860, Northern workingmen, along with merchants, shipowners, and cotton manufacturers, were deeply worried about the impact of potential disunion, while bankers and industrialists squirmed as the prices of stocks declined markedly.
David W. Blight (Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom)
The less transparent the market and the more complicated the securities, the more money the trading desks at big Wall Street firms can make from the argument. The constant argument over the value of the shares of some major publicly traded company has very little value, as both buyer and seller can see the fair price of the stock on the ticker, and the broker’s commission has been driven down by competition. The argument over the value of credit default swaps on subprime mortgage bonds—a complex security whose value was derived from that of another complex security—could be a gold mine.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short)
The true investor scarcely ever is forced to sell his shares, and at all other times he is free to disregard the current price quotation. He need pay attention to it and act upon it only to the extent that it suits his book, and no more.* Thus the investor who permits himself to be stampeded or unduly worried by unjustified market declines in his holdings is perversely transforming his basic advantage into a basic disadvantage. That man would be better off if his stocks had no market quotation at all, for he would then be spared the mental anguish caused him by other persons’ mistakes of judgment.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
The most-studied evidence, by the greatest number of economists, concerns what is called short-term dependence. This refers to the way price levels or price changes at one moment can influence those shortly afterwards-an hour, a day, or a few years, depending on what you consider "short." A "momentum" effect is at work, some economists theorize: Once a stock price starts climbing, the odds are slightly in favor of it continuing to climb for a while longer. For instance, in 1991 Campbell Harvey of Duke- he of the CFO study mentioned earlier-studied stock exchanges in sixteen of the world's largest economies. He found that if an index fell in one month, it had slightly greater odds of falling again in the next moth, or, if it had risen, greater odds of continuing to rise. Indeed, the data show, the sharper the move in the first, the more likely is is that the price trend will continue into the next month, although at a slower rate. Several other studies have found similar short-term trending in stock prices. When major news about a company hits the wires, the stock will react promptly-but it may keep on moving for the next few days as the news spreads, analysts study it, and more investors start to act upon it.
Benoît B. Mandelbrot (The (Mis)Behavior of Markets)
Jesse Livermore, who declared in How to Trade in Stocks, “I absolutely believe that price movement patterns are being repeated. They are recurring patterns that appear over and over, with slight variations. This is because markets are driven by humans—and human nature never changes” (Greenville: Traders Press, 1991, 96).
Gil Morales (Trade Like an O'Neil Disciple: How We Made Over 18,000% in the Stock Market (Wiley Trading Book 494))
But as to your writing me that I don’t love you very much, I don’t know whether you’re saying this in earnest or whether I should realise that you’re joking with me. Still, what you say disturbs me. You are measuring a very healthy expression of a wife’s loyalty by the standard of the insincere flattery of well-worn phrases. But I shall love you, my husband. What does it mean to you that you reassure me with those trivial little compliments? Do you want me to believe that you expect me to comb my hair in a stylish fashion for your homecoming? Or to feign adoring looks with a painted face? Let women without means, who worry and have no confidence in their virtue, flutter their eyelashes and play games to gain favour with their husbands. This is the adulation of a fox and the birdlime of deceitful bird hunting. I don’t want to have to buy you at such a price. I’m not a person who lays more stock in words than duty. I am truly your Laura, whose soul is the same one you in turn had hoped for.
Laura Cereta
If the price of a particular stock is going up, we assume good things are happening; if the price starts to go down, we assume something bad is happening, and we act accordingly. It’s a poor mental habit, and it is exacerbated by another: evaluating price performance over very short periods of time. Not only are we depending solely on the wrong thing (price), Buffett would say, but we’re looking at it too often and we’re too quick to jump when we don’t like what we see. This double-barreled foolishness—this price-based, short-term mentality—is a flawed way of thinking, and it shows up at every level in our business. It is what prompts some people to check stock quotes every day, sometimes every hour.
Robert G. Hagstrom (The Warren Buffett Way)
The Memoirs became the most celebrated unfinished, unpublished, unread book in history. But Chateaubriand was still broke. So Madame Récamier came up with a new scheme, and this one worked - or sort of worked. A stock company was formed, and people bought shares in the manuscript. Word futures, I guess you could call them, in the same way that people from Wall Street gamble on the price of soybeans and corn. In effect, Chateaubriand mortgaged his autobiography to finance his old age. They gave him a nice chunk of money up front, which allowed him to pay off his creditors, and a guaranteed annuity for the rest of his life. It was a brilliant arrangement. The only problem was that Chateaubriand kept on living.
Paul Auster (The Book of Illusions)
Profit is so very fluctuating that the person who carries on a particular trade cannot always tell you himself what is the average of his annual profit. It is affected not only by every variation of price in the commodities which he deals in, but by the good or bad fortune both of his rivals and of his customers, and by a thousand other accidents to which goods when carried either by sea or by land, or even when stored in a warehouse, are liable. It varies, therefore, not only from year to year, but from day to day, and almost from hour to hour. To ascertain what is the average profit of all the different trades carried on in a great kingdom must be much more difficult; and to judge of what it may have been formerly, or in remote periods of time, with any degree of precision, must be altogether impossible. But though it may be impossible to determine, with any degree of precision, what are or were the average profits of stock, either in the present or in ancient times, some notion may be formed of them from the interest of money. It may be laid down as a maxim, that wherever a great deal can be made by the use of money, a great deal will commonly be given for the use of it; and that wherever little can be made by it, less will commonly be given for it. According, therefore, as the usual market rate of interest varies in any country, we may be assured that the ordinary profits of stock must vary with it, must sink as it sinks, and rise as it rises. The progress of interest, therefore, may lead us to form some notion of the progress of profit.
Adam Smith (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations)
Ask questions, no, screech questions out loud - while kneeling in front of the electric doors at Safeway, demanding other citizens ask questions along with you - while chewing up old textbooks and spitting the words onto downtown sidewalks - outside the Planet Hollywood, outside the stock exchange, and outside the Gap. Grind questions onto the glass on photocopiers. Scrape challenges onto old auto parts and throw them off bridges so that future people digging in the mud will question the world, too. Carve eyeballs into tire treads and onto shoe leathers so that your every trail speaks of thinking and questioning and awareness. Design molecules that crystallize into question marks. Make bar codes print out fables, not prices. You can't even throw away a piece of litter unless it has a question mark stamped on it - a demand for people to reach a finer place
Douglas Coupland (Girlfriend in a Coma)
Lucinda might sneak from her own house at midnight to place a wager somewhere else, but she dared not touch the pack that lay in her own sideboard. She knew how passionate he had become about his 'weakness.' She dared not even ask him how it was he had reversed his opinions on the matter. But, oh, how she yearned to discuss it with him, how much she wished to deal a hand on a grey wool blanket. There would be no headaches then, only this sweet consummation of their comradeship. But she said not a word. And although she might have her 'dainty' shoes tossed to the floor, have her bare toes quite visible through her stockings, have a draught of sherry in her hand, in short appear quite radical, she was too timid, she thought, too much a mouse, to reveal her gambler's heart to him. She did not like this mouselike quality. As usual, she found herself too careful, too held in. Once she said: 'I wish I had ten sisters and a big kitchen to laugh in.' Her lodger frowned and dusted his knees. She thought: He is as near to a sister as I am likely to get, but he does not understand. She would have had a woman friend so they could brush each other's hair, and just, please God, put aside this great clanking suit of ugly armor. She kept her glass dreams from him, even whilst she appeared to talk about them. He was an admiring listener, but she only showed him the opaque skin of her dreams--window glass, the price of transporting it, the difficulties with builders who would not pay their bills inside six months. He imagined this was her business, and of course it was, but all the things she spoke of were a fog across its landscape which was filled with such soaring mountains she would be embarrassed to lay claim to them. Her true ambition, the one she would not confess to him, was to build something Extraordinary and Fine from glass and cast iron. A conservatory, but not a conservatory. Glass laced with steel, spun like a spider web--the idea danced around the periphery of her vision, never long enough to be clear. When she attempted to make a sketch, it became diminished, wooden, inelegant. Sometimes, in her dreams, she felt she had discovered its form, but if she had, it was like an improperly fixed photograph which fades when exposed to daylight. She was wise enough, or foolish enough, to believe this did not matter, that the form would present itself to her in the end.
Peter Carey (Oscar and Lucinda)
Takes them less than a week to run the Line thro’ somebody’s House. About a mile and a half west of the Twelve-Mile Arc, twenty-four Chains beyond Little Christiana Creek, on Wednesday, April 10th, the Field-Book reports, “At 3 Miles 49 Chains, went through Mr. Price’s House.” “Just took a wild guess,” Mrs. Price quite amiable, “where we’d build it,— not as if my Husband’s a Surveyor or anything. Which side’s to be Pennsylvania, by the way?” A mischievous glint in her eyes that Barnes, Farlow, Moses McClean and others will later all recall. Mr. Price is in Town, in search of Partners for a Land Venture. “Would you Gentlemen mind coming in the House and showing me just where your Line does Run?” Mason and Dixon, already feeling awkward about it, oblige, Dixon up on the Roof with a long Plumb-line, Mason a-squint at the Snout of the Instrument. Mrs. Price meantime fills her Table with plates of sour-cherry fritters, Neat’s-Tongue Pies, a gigantick Indian Pudding, pitchers a-slosh with home-made Cider,— then producing some new-hackl’d Streaks of Hemp, and laying them down in a Right Line according to the Surveyors’ advice,— fixing them here and there with Tacks, across the room, up the stairs, straight down the middle of the Bed, of course, . . . which is about when Mr. Rhys Price happens to return from his Business in town, to find merry Axmen lounging beneath his Sassafras tree, Strange Stock mingling with his own and watering out of his Branch, his house invaded by Surveyors, and his wife giving away the Larder and waving her Tankard about, crying, “Husband, what Province were we married in? Ha! see him gape, for he cannot remember. ’Twas in Pennsylvania, my Tortoise. But never in Maryland. Hey? So from now on, when I am upon this side of the House, I am in Maryland, legally not your wife, and no longer subject to your Authority,— isn’t that right, Gents?” “Ask the Rev,” they reply together,
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
The orders resting on BATS were typically just the 100-share minimum required for an order to be at the front of any price queue, as their only purpose was to tease information out of investors. The HFT firms posted these tiny orders on BATS—orders to buy or sell 100 shares of basically every stock traded in the U.S. market—not because they actually wanted to buy and sell the stocks but because they wanted to find out what investors wanted to buy and sell before they did it. BATS, unsurprisingly, had been created by high-frequency traders.
Michael Lewis (Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt)
Trends consist of three specific phases. Every trend moves through three phases. The accumulation phase is the period when investors with exceptional information actively buy (in a bullish trend) or sell (in a bearish trend). The public participation phase occurs when, due to price movement caused by activity in the accumulation phase, the general public joins in the trend. Finally, the distribution phase occurs when speculators enter the market and over-buy or over-sell, and at this point the observant investor begins to transact in the opposite direction.
Thomsett, Michael (Technical Analysis of Stock Trends Explained: An Easy-to-Understand System for Successful Trading)
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? The lessons of market history are clear. Styles and fashions in investors’ evaluations of securities can and often do play a critical role in the pricing of securities. The stock market at times conforms well to the castle-in-the-air theory. For this reason, the game of investing can be extremely dangerous. Another lesson that cries out for attention is that investors should be very wary of purchasing today’s hot “new issue.” Most initial public offerings underperform the stock market as a whole. And if you buy the new issue after it begins trading, usually at a higher price, you are even more certain to lose. Investors would be well advised to treat new issues with a healthy dose of skepticism. Certainly investors in the past have built many castles in the air with IPOs. Remember that the major sellers of the stock of IPOs are the managers of the companies themselves. They try to time their sales to coincide with a peak in the prosperity of their companies or with the height of investor enthusiasm for some current fad. In such cases, the urge to get on the bandwagon—even in high-growth industries—produced a profitless prosperity for investors.
Burton G. Malkiel (A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing)
Once upon a time there was much talk of the apathy of the masses. Their silence was the crucial fact for an earlier generation. Today, however, the masses act not by deflection but by infection, tainting opinion polls and forecasts with their multifarious phantasies. Their abstention and their silence are no longer determining factors (that stage was still nihilistic); what counts now is their use of the cogs in the workings of uncertainty. Where the masses once sported with their voluntary servitude, they now sport with their involuntary incertitude. Unbeknownst to the experts who scrutinize them and the manipulators who believe they can influence them, they have grasped the fact that politics is virtually dead, and that they now have a new game to play, just as exciting as the ups and downs of the stock market. This game enables them to make audiences, charismas, levels of prestige and the market prices of images dance up and down with an intolerable facility. The masses had been deliberately demoralized and de-ideologized in order that they might become the live prey of probability theory, but now it is they who destabilize all images and play games with political truth.
Jean Baudrillard (The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena)
What are the common wages of labour, depends everywhere upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible. The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower the wages of labour. It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorizes, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work; but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes the masters can hold out much longer. A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, a merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate. We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is everywhere a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and one may say, the natural state of things, which nobody ever hears of. Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy, till the moment of execution, and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do, without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people. Such combinations, however, are frequently resisted by a contrary defensive combination of the workmen; who sometimes too, without any provocation of this kind, combine of their own accord to raise the price of their labour. Their usual pretences are, sometimes the high price of provisions; sometimes the great profit which their masters make by their work. But whether their combinations be offensive or defensive, they are always abundantly heard of. In order to bring the point to a speedy decision, they have always recourse to the loudest clamour, and sometimes to the most shocking violence and outrage. They are desperate, and act with the folly and extravagance of desperate men, who must either starve, or frighten their masters into an immediate compliance with their demands. The masters upon these occasions are just as clamorous upon the other side, and never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combinations of servants, labourers, and journeymen. The workmen, accordingly, very seldom derive any advantage from the violence of those tumultuous combinations, which, partly from the interposition of the civil magistrate, partly from the necessity superior steadiness of the masters, partly from the necessity which the greater part of the workmen are under of submitting for the sake of present subsistence, generally end in nothing, but the punishment or ruin of the ringleaders. But though in disputes with their workmen, masters must generally have the advantage, there is, however, a certain rate be.
Adam Smith
A 1997 study of the consumer product design firm IDEO found that most of the company’s biggest successes originated as “combinations of existing knowledge from disparate industries.” IDEO’s designers created a top-selling water bottle, for example, by mixing a standard water carafe with the leak-proof nozzle of a shampoo container. The power of combining old ideas in new ways also extends to finance, where the prices of stock derivatives are calculated by mixing formulas originally developed to describe the motion of dust particles with gambling techniques. Modern bike helmets exist because a designer wondered if he could take a boat’s hull, which can withstand nearly any collision, and design it in the shape of a hat. It even reaches to parenting, where one of the most popular baby books—Benjamin Spock’s The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, first published in 1946—combined Freudian psychotherapy with traditional child-rearing techniques. “A lot of the people we think of as exceptionally creative are essentially intellectual middlemen,” said Uzzi. “They’ve learned how to transfer knowledge between different industries or groups. They’ve seen a lot of different people attack the same problems in different settings, and so they know which kinds of ideas are more likely to work.” Within sociology, these middlemen are often referred to as idea or innovation brokers. In one study published in 2004, a sociologist named Ronald Burt studied 673 managers at a large electronics company and found that ideas that were most consistently ranked as “creative” came from people who were particularly talented at taking concepts from one division of the company and explaining them to employees in other departments. “People connected across groups are more familiar with alternative ways of thinking and behaving,” Burt wrote. “The between-group brokers are more likely to express ideas, less likely to have ideas dismissed, and more likely to have ideas evaluated as valuable.” They were more credible when they made suggestions, Burt said, because they could say which ideas had already succeeded somewhere else.
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business)
Then came the so-called flash crash. At 2:45 on May 6, 2010, for no obvious reason, the market fell six hundred points in a few minutes. A few minutes later, like a drunk trying to pretend he hadn’t just knocked over the fishbowl and killed the pet goldfish, it bounced right back up to where it was before. If you weren’t watching closely you could have missed the entire event—unless, of course, you had placed orders in the market to buy or sell certain stocks. Shares of Procter & Gamble, for instance, traded as low as a penny and as high as $100,000. Twenty thousand different trades happened at stock prices more than 60 percent removed from the prices of those stocks just moments before. Five months later, the SEC published a report blaming the entire fiasco on a single large sell order, of stock market futures contracts, mistakenly placed on an exchange in Chicago by an obscure Kansas City mutual fund. That explanation could only be true by accident, because the stock market regulators did not possess the information they needed to understand the stock markets. The unit of trading was now the microsecond, but the records kept by the exchanges were by the second. There were one million microseconds in a second. It was as if, back in the 1920s, the only stock market data available was a crude aggregation of all trades made during the decade. You could see that at some point in that era there had been a stock market crash. You could see nothing about the events on and around October 29, 1929.
Michael Lewis (Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt)
McDougall was a certified revolutionary hero, while the Scottish-born cashier, the punctilious and corpulent William Seton, was a Loyalist who had spent the war in the city. In a striking show of bipartisan unity, the most vociferous Sons of Liberty—Marinus Willett, Isaac Sears, and John Lamb—appended their names to the bank’s petition for a state charter. As a triple power at the new bank—a director, the author of its constitution, and its attorney—Hamilton straddled a critical nexus of economic power. One of Hamilton’s motivations in backing the bank was to introduce order into the manic universe of American currency. By the end of the Revolution, it took $167 in continental dollars to buy one dollar’s worth of gold and silver. This worthless currency had been superseded by new paper currency, but the states also issued bills, and large batches of New Jersey and Pennsylvania paper swamped Manhattan. Shopkeepers had to be veritable mathematical wizards to figure out the fluctuating values of the varied bills and coins in circulation. Congress adopted the dollar as the official monetary unit in 1785, but for many years New York shopkeepers still quoted prices in pounds, shillings, and pence. The city was awash with strange foreign coins bearing exotic names: Spanish doubloons, British and French guineas, Prussian carolines, Portuguese moidores. To make matters worse, exchange rates differed from state to state. Hamilton hoped that the Bank of New York would counter all this chaos by issuing its own notes and also listing the current exchange rates for the miscellaneous currencies. Many Americans still regarded banking as a black, unfathomable art, and it was anathema to upstate populists. The Bank of New York was denounced by some as the cat’s-paw of British capitalists. Hamilton’s petition to the state legislature for a bank charter was denied for seven years, as Governor George Clinton succumbed to the prejudices of his agricultural constituents who thought the bank would give preferential treatment to merchants and shut out farmers. Clinton distrusted corporations as shady plots against the populace, foreshadowing the Jeffersonian revulsion against Hamilton’s economic programs. The upshot was that in June 1784 the Bank of New York opened as a private bank without a charter. It occupied the Walton mansion on St. George’s Square (now Pearl Street), a three-story building of yellow brick and brown trim, and three years later it relocated to Hanover Square. It was to house the personal bank accounts of both Alexander Hamilton and John Jay and prove one of Hamilton’s most durable monuments, becoming the oldest stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
Hastings sat down and braced his arm along the back of the chaise, quite effectively letting it be known he did not want anyone else to join them. “You look frustrated, Miss Fitzhugh.” He lowered his voice. “Has your bed been empty of late?” He knew very well she’d been watched more closely than prices on the stock exchange. She couldn’t smuggle a hamster into her bed, let alone a man. “You look anemic, Hastings,” she said. “Have you been leaving the belles of England breathlessly unsatisfied again?” He grinned. “Ah, so you know what it is like to be breathlessly unsatisfied. I expected as little from Andrew Martin.” Her tone was pointed. “As little as you expect from yourself, no doubt.” He sighed exaggeratedly. “Miss Fitzhugh, you disparage me so, when I’ve only ever sung your praises.” “Well, we all do what we must,” she said with sweet venom. He didn’t reply—not in words, at least.
Sherry Thomas (Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2))
#The Vanity of all Worldly Things. As he said vanity, so vain say I, Oh! Vanity, O vain all under sky; Where is the man can say, "Lo, I have found On brittle earth a consolation sound"? What isn't in honor to be set on high? No, they like beasts and sons of men shall die, And whilst they live, how oft doth turn their fate; He's now a captive that was king of late. What isn't in wealth great treasures to obtain? No, that's but labor, anxious care, and pain. He heaps up riches, and he heaps up sorrow, It's his today, but who's his heir tomorrow? What then? Content in pleasures canst thou find? More vain than all, that's but to grasp the wind. The sensual senses for a time they pleasure, Meanwhile the conscience rage, who shall appease? What isn't in beauty? No that's but a snare, They're foul enough today, that once were fair. What is't in flow'ring youth, or manly age? The first is prone to vice, the last to rage. Where is it then, in wisdom, learning, arts? Sure if on earth, it must be in those parts; Yet these the wisest man of men did find But vanity, vexation of the mind. And he that know the most doth still bemoan He knows not all that here is to be known. What is it then? To do as stoics tell, Nor laugh, nor weep, let things go ill or well? Such stoics are but stocks, such teaching vain, While man is man, he shall have ease or pain. If not in honor, beauty, age, nor treasure, Nor yet in learning, wisdom, youth, nor pleasure, Where shall I climb, sound, seek, search, or find That summum bonum which may stay my mind? There is a path no vulture's eye hath seen, Where lion fierce, nor lion's whelps have been, Which leads unto that living crystal fount, Who drinks thereof, the world doth naught account. The depth and sea have said " 'tis not in me," With pearl and gold it shall not valued be. For sapphire, onyx, topaz who would change; It's hid from eyes of men, they count it strange. Death and destruction the fame hath heard, But where and what it is, from heaven's declared; It brings to honor which shall ne'er decay, It stores with wealth which time can't wear away. It yieldeth pleasures far beyond conceit, And truly beautifies without deceit. Nor strength, nor wisdom, nor fresh youth shall fade, Nor death shall see, but are immortal made. This pearl of price, this tree of life, this spring, Who is possessed of shall reign a king. Nor change of state nor cares shall ever see, But wear his crown unto eternity. This satiates the soul, this stays the mind, And all the rest, but vanity we find.
Anne Bradstreet
As they worked through the order types, they created a taxonomy of predatory behavior in the stock market. Broadly speaking, it appeared as if there were three activities that led to a vast amount of grotesquely unfair trading. The first they called “electronic front-running”—seeing an investor trying to do something in one place and racing him to the next. (What had happened to Brad, when he traded at RBC.) The second they called “rebate arbitrage”—using the new complexity to game the seizing of whatever kickbacks the exchange offered without actually providing the liquidity that the kickback was presumably meant to entice. The third, and probably by far the most widespread, they called “slow market arbitrage.” This occurred when a high-frequency trader was able to see the price of a stock change on one exchange, and pick off orders sitting on other exchanges, before the exchanges were able to react. Say, for instance, the market for P&G shares is 80–80.01, and buyers and sellers sit on both sides on all of the exchanges. A big seller comes in on the NYSE and knocks the price down to 79.98–79.99. High-frequency traders buy on NYSE at $79.99 and sell on all the other exchanges at $80, before the market officially changes. This happened all day, every day, and generated more billions of dollars a year than the other strategies combined.
Michael Lewis (Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt)
An unexpected sight opens in front of my eyes, a sight I cannot ignore. Instead of the calm waters in front of the fortress, the rear side offers a view of a different sea—the sea of small, dark streets and alleys—like an intricate puzzle. The breathtaking scenery visible from the other side had been replaced by the panorama of poverty–stricken streets, crumbling house walls, and dilapidated facades that struggle to hide the building materials beneath them. It reminds me of the ghettos in Barcelona, the ghettos I came to know far too well. I take a deep breath and look for a sign of life—a life not affected by its surroundings. Nothing. Down, between the rows of dirty dwellings stretches a clothesline. Heavy with the freshly washed laundry it droops down, droplets of water trickling onto the soiled pavement from its burden. Around the corner, a group of filthy children plays with a semi–deflated soccer ball—it makes a funny sound as it bounces off the wall—plunk, plunk. A man sitting on a staircase puts out a cigarette; he coughs, spits phlegm on the sidewalk, and lights a new one. A mucky dog wanders to a house, lifts his leg, and pisses on it. His urine flows down the wall and onto the street, forming a puddle on the pavement. The children run about, stepping in the piss, unconcerned. An old woman watches from the window, her large breasts hanging over the windowsill for the world to see. Une vie ordinaire, a mundane life...life in its purest. These streets bring me back to all the places I had escaped when I sneaked onto the ferry. The same feeling of conformity within despair, conformity with their destiny, prearranged long before these people were born. Nothing ever changes, nothing ever disturbs the gloomy corners of the underworld. Tucked away from the bright lights, tucked away from the shiny pavers on the promenade, hidden from the eyes of the tourists, the misery thrives. I cannot help but think of myself—only a few weeks ago my life was not much different from the view in front of my eyes. Yet, there is a certain peace soaring from these streets, a peace embedded in each cobblestone, in each rotten wall. The peace of men, unconcerned with the rest of the world, disturbed neither by global issues, nor by the stock market prices. A peace so ancient that it can only be found in the few corners of the world that remain unchanged for centuries. This is one of the places. I miss the intricacy of the street, I miss the feeling of excitement and danger melted together into one exceptional, nonconforming emotion. There is the real—the street; and then there is all the other—the removed. I am now on the other side of reality, unable to reach out with my hand and touch the pure life. I miss the street.
Henry Martin (Finding Eivissa (Mad Days of Me #2))