The Madness of Crowds

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Published : February 22nd, 2019
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Category : GoldWire

“In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do.  We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”

Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

"Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand the allures of evil.   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Therefore take for youself the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil of the day, and having done all, to remain standing."

Ephesians 6:11-13

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"I am on your side.   But you have no way of knowing it, because your heart is blind."

Albert Camus, The Stranger

A people do not just go mad on their own for the most part.  A few do, some perenially wacky minority.  But the rest have to be lied to and manipulated through well-crafted narratives that play on their worst emotions by those who would unleash the madness to serve their own selfish ends of money and power.   What they do not realize is that in the end the madness serves none but itself.

Stocks fell off a bit today, although they tried to stage a late afternoon rally that failed to stick.

Tech was the lead sled dog in bubbleland, with the SP 500 lagging. Pintrest has decided to join the unicorns and go IPO.

Gold and silver both backed off a short term very overbought condition.

The US Dollar rallied. The forex wiseguys love to sweep the markets back and forth to skin those who rely overmuch on leverage.

The economic news this morning was rather bad, with both Durable Goods Orders and the Philly Fed disappointing.

Until the markets and the financial system are reformed, there will be no sustainble recovery.  And given the current moral climate, and our fatal attraction to greed and power, the chances of social and polticial progress in support of reform seem a bit difficult.

Have a pleasant evening.

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