Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Scholars of humanties will save the world?

Yesterday - at least as I see, without any qualification and only intuitively - was a fine example how the psychology of the markets work. At the start almost every stock exchange plunged, almost a free fall, but they soon began to recover, most probably on the back of expectations that the FED will announce new measure to boost the sluggish US economy. The expectations ranged as far as the immediate announcement of quantitative easing adn what happened? Well, nothing. The FED reiterated that they are aware of the problems, just as they were earlier, they will keep interest rates practically at zero, just as it was for a while, they will pump back their profit into the financial system, again as it is happening even now, and of course they will consider anything that can help the economy. None of these measures helped to stop the deterioration so far, and to expect a different outcome for now would not be too logical. An none of these measures is new in any sense, not to speak of being surprising. Or did anyone honestly expected the FED to raise its rate in the face of the slump? (Just because today's hedalines speak of markets rebounding due to FED's announcement of keeping rates zero.)

Thus, the FED did not change course, while the markets were expecting something new, that could steer the world economy in another direction. The initial reaction were as one would expect: sell-off at the stock exchange. But, curiously, after some time euphoria settled and the markets rallied. Given what happened it is counterintuitive at best.. Market participants were waiting for the announcemtn of radical changes and what they receieved was the announcement of no change at all. Initially they reacted asthey should, but somehwo reconsidered their position and began to trade like the FED would have given them what they had expected. Instead of the usual market-bashing probabyl it is better to draw some conclusions.

It is not words that matter - sometimes instead of deed - but only how they are interpreted by actors on the market. Even if what they have heard was the opposite what they longed for they could still reinterpret it as if it would be the much desired news. But there is still a delicate case here: it seems words of financial institutions are more or less unintelligible for their audience and it confuses them, This time for the better - leading to positive evolution of the market -, but it can easily turn out to be the opposite. And this is the point where scholars of humanities could have a significant role in ameliorating of the workings of the economy. Who else are in a position to make a thorough textual and discoursive analysis of the words of financial institutions. Probably with a wide scale reserach project every statement and every interview of the respective central banks and their leaders should be collected and alaysed in order to determine the real meaning of words and phrases. And as personalities in the financial world change it would be a never ending story. But with the help of these scholars the markets would have a dictinoary or theasurus of the central banks enbaling them to undertsand their statements immediately. Funny, it seems the markets needs translators and they will collapse without the help of those useless humanity scholars.

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