The gamblers

Awhile back someone on this blog put me on to the Council on Foreign Relations podcasts – and I have been listening to 4-5 of these every week since. If you want to talk about Ukraine and NATO or microfinance or currency stability in Argentina, giddy up!

Last night I listened to an interesting session with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner the president of Argentina (think of her as a kind of Hillary Clinton as her husband was previously the president).

She gave a good speech but her most salient points were around the culture of gambling and risk that has pervaded the U.S. economy – particularly Wall Street. She said the U.S. must get back to what made it great – the creation of value through goods, services and knowledge – and not just gambling on the market.

I think we have got to find a way to limit gambling on stocks. I know that old Greenspan believes that ‘liquidity’ is the ultimate goal and the short selling of stocks and the other fast flipping of stocks to make quick profits is good for the market but I am increasingly coming into disagreement with the old coot.

It seems to me that we need to find a way to breed out the gambling and revert to stock price setting based on real underlying value.

But I’m not a expert on this stuff. Just a guy whose already small retirement savings has shrunk further in the past little while.