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Visual source: Newseum

Bloomberg looks at our testosterone- (or is it cortisol-) driven markets:

In light of these findings, it’s natural to suspect that a good part of the giddy energy and aggressive excitement that spills over Wall Street during a long bull market must reflect a surge in general testosterone levels, and that basic physiological mechanisms can drive financial bubbles. The more markets rise, the more confident and risk-seeking traders and investors become. The ultimate outcome is a market of people largely convinced of their own invincibility and ready to take irrational risks confident in the outcome being yet another victory.

When the bubble bursts, Coates argues, another hormonal response amplifies the effects. The mental consequences of long- term exposure to heightened cortisol levels include anxiety, selective recall of disturbing memories and a sense of danger lurking everywhere. The market becomes irrationally risk-averse. The bear market persists as the financial industry, or much of it, becomes, in Coates’s term, a “clinical population” unable to make the most of the opportunities it finds.

You can't let men into positions like this. They are sooo hormonal.

Ezra Klein:

So can anything break the economy out of its current doldrums? If natural forces aren’t going to produce a fast recovery, Smith argues, then the Federal Reserve has to step in: “The Fed has to say that it will tolerate more inflation or will be more heavily focused on unemployment. This way folks engaging in long term projects will know that even if the economy picks up they can still expect to experience low financing costs.”
Paul Krugman:
Oh, wow — another bank bailout, this time in Spain. Who could have predicted that?

The answer, of course, is everybody. In fact, the whole story is starting to feel like a comedy routine: yet again the economy slides, unemployment soars, banks get into trouble, governments rush to the rescue — but somehow it’s only the banks that get rescued, not the unemployed.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz:
Barack Obama won 52.9 percent of the popular vote in 2008 and 365 electoral votes, 95 more than he needed. Many naturally concluded that prejudice was not a major factor against a black presidential candidate in modern America. My research, a comparison of Americans’ Google searches and their voting patterns, found otherwise. If my results are correct, racial animus cost Mr. Obama many more votes than we may have realized.
EJ Dionne:
Why don’t Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs — yes, really — and also the conditions under which more jobs can be created.

You probably read that and thought: But don’t Democrats and liberals say this all the time? Actually, the answer is no. It’s Republicans and conservatives who usually say that Democrats and liberals believe in government. Progressive politicians often respond by apologizing for their view of government, or qualifying it, or shifting as fast as the speed of light from mumbled support for government to robust affirmations of their faith in the private sector.

Politico:
Next stops for the tea party after Wisconsin: Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Fresh off last week’s seismic victory against Big Labor, conservative activists are revving up their ground game in key presidential swing states where unions have long dominated. The goal: secure big wins in the House, Senate and the White House.

For an explanatory on right wing terms like Big Labor, see Union basics the media often gets wrong—and ways right-wing messaging sneaks into labor coverage.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for this, DemFromCT! (9+ / 0-)

    Although sadly, it confirms my belief that half the human race is stoopid.  Bail out the banks but not the bankrupt--bleargh!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:05:58 AM PDT

  •  Emotion is the biggest driver. (10+ / 0-)

    Too many people watch the markets with supercifial knowledge of smart investment strategy and logic. Their market watch is one of many other distractions to their day. Long term strategies, if they have any, are quickly and easily swept aside if they see a flag indicating others are rushing to make a buck on some flimsy data or trend.


    Respect the middle class. Include everyone in economic recovery. Empower all to move the nation forward.

    by jim in IA on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:14:51 AM PDT

    •  Yep: emotion. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Floande, rbird, Amber6541, jim in IA

      If logic had ANYTHING to do with it, Hummers wouldn't be selling.

      Emotion - particularly greed and status-consciousness - drives markets and marketing in America.

      As long as people want 'luxury' or 'status' or remain totally engrossed in general materialism, things will be as they are.

      I drive a beat-up OLD toyota truck with 235000 miles on it. The bed is all banged up and the bumper droops from where this dumbass hit and run nailed me.

      Even if I got a "new car' I prefer to drive the truck to work because people are going to hit your car in the city. Potholws and railroad crossings are going to stress and damage it - the truck is impervious to this stuff.

      And in the words of an old martial arts buddy "I'm married and have no need to impress people".

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:45:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Neither logic nor emotion. It's GREED, baby. (0+ / 0-)

      The rush that these guys get from making piles and piles of money is addictive to them. They compare their plunder like other guys compare their sexual conquests - it's THE measure of their status as alpha males in their world. Who gets hurt and what gets destroyed in the process is no concern - those things are collateral damage, but money never sleeps.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:45:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Greed IS an emotion. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, OrdinaryIowan

        So is their lust for acceptance as an alpha male (or in rare cases, female).  Lust is also an emotion.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:35:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wouldn't disagree. (0+ / 0-)

          I admit I oversimplified for the drama. Greed evokes all the same neurotrasmitter releases that other emotions do, albeit probably in a pathological intensity, rather like what a serial killer experiences. But for sure, there is little rationality about stocks and commodities. It's more about buzz, and trying to find the greater fool.

          Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

          by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:15:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  EJ speaks for me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, belle1, xenothaulus

    this time

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:22:21 AM PDT

  •  Liquidity drives marquettes....ratchet up interest (0+ / 0-)

    rates a point and watch it collapse.

  •  Secy. John Bryson cited in felony hit-and-run (5+ / 0-)
    http://www.cbsnews.com/...

    Updated at 7:28 a.m. Eastern.

    (CBS News) U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson has been cited in a felony hit-and-run case after allegedly crashing a Lexus into two vehicles in California on June 9, Los Angeles County police have confirmed.

    According to the written statement by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, Bryson was behind the wheel of a Lexus which rear-ended another vehicle waiting for a train to pass in the city of San Gabriel at about five in the evening. The statement says Bryson spoke with the three males in the other car, then drove away, hitting their Buick again in the process.

    Bryson was then "found alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle," after allegedly causing another accident in the neighboring city of Rosemead.

    Police say that while Bryson has now been formally cited in the hit-and-run, it will be up to the District Attorney's office to decide whether formal criminal charges should be filed.

  •  Seth Stephens-Davidowitz' piece (5+ / 0-)

    I recommend reading Seth Stephens-Davidowitz' piece. It offers something close to empirical evidence for the influence of racism in the 2008 presidential election and a plausible argument about its role in the 2013 presidential election.

    Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

    by JayC on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:28:58 AM PDT

    •  Typo: 2012 not 2013 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      Of course, I meant the 2012 presidential election, not 2013. Apologies for missing the typo in the preview.

      Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

      by JayC on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:32:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I always figured as much. (5+ / 0-)

      When I was doing the map on realclearpolitics.com for a coworker, I showed him how Obama could win without any Southern states.

      He protested, saying no president has won without carrying some southern states, and i replied "a black guy ain't gonna get any states in the south."

      (NC fooled me.)

      It's the 2012 election, btw.

      "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:34:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Guess the baggers have mobile call centers.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    ....housed in big touring busses with their logo on the side.

    Or so I've heard.

    "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

    by Bush Bites on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:30:23 AM PDT

  •  lmao @ the Politico article. Typical! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens
  •  Stephens-Davidowitz's article on (13+ / 0-)

    racism was very interesting, but I don't think it went far enough.  What he didn't discuss was the way the Right has amplified racism, and encouraged it every day and every way since Obama was elected.  There's barely a GOP politician who doesn't use dog whistle language--which the press dutifully and uncritically repeats--and many don't even try to be that sneaky any more.  Birtherism has been treated by the GOP and in the press as at least a semi-respectible argument instead of a crackpot theory.  Racial resentment is the main way the GOP has convinced people that public services, public workers, the social safety net and even healthcare is bad because it steals what we white folks rightfully earned and gives it to those underserving brown people   As a result, those who might have sat quietly and evaluated the newly-elected Obama through a non-racially-tinted lens, were prodded and poked until their racism took center stage.

    Post racial?  Bah!  Racism is much more overt now than it was in 2008.  And the GOP is proud of it.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

    by SottoVoce on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:36:12 AM PDT

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, MikeTheLiberal

      That is why this election feels so much like Reagan v Carter, or Bush v Clinton: there is so much anti-public-assistance, which is just dog whistle racism.  There is talk of dependence on government (allegedly so much worse than dependence on corporations) and the psychological/character defects it purportedly creates -- more dog whistle racism.  Then there is the govt regulation talk: which is just another way of bringing up affirmative action.  

      I'm telling you, it feels like the R's are trying to run the 1980 election all over again.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:41:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dems HAVE to nuance, EJ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrdinaryIowan, skohayes, Amber6541
    Why don’t Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs ...

    Progressive politicians often respond by apologizing for their view of government, or qualifying it, or shifting ...

    Democrats believe in government run by Democrats.  Governments run by people who actually believe in government create jobs and do good and valuable things.

    Governments stuffed full of Republicans who do not believe in government will not create jobs, will not do good and valuable things.  They will sabotage it and merely use it to benefit their friends and relatives.

    So no, you can't just blanket proclaim governments good, because the good in governments depends upon the people who form them.

  •  Markets: logic vs. emotion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, Amber6541, Larsstephens

    The answer is neither.

    A public securities market is basically a large number of buyers and a large number of sellers.  It follows a random walk, because at any given moment of time, it reflects the valuations that each of those buyers and sellers have placed on different securities.  The future behavior is inherently random because the only thing that changes what those buyers and sellers think is new information, which is by definition unpredictable.

    This doesn't eliminate irrational behavior.  Some market entrants in securities markets base their decisions on historical data (this includes a lot of money managers and institutional investors) even though it is well understood that future securities prices cannot be predicted from past data.  The bubbles happen when everyone else decides to start betting on the bubble, usually helped along with things like poor decisions about market deregulation.

    What it is not is a battle between Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy.  This is the sort of crap that pundits on CNBC spout.  Television financial reporting is as stupid as television political reporting.

  •  Dionne is right (3+ / 0-)

    A thousand times right.  

    The R party believes that lawlessness will save us all.  

    The screamers and crybabies of the right wing have the entire country intimidated into ignoring what they know, and denying their own birthright.  This country was founded on a form of government.  The righties do nothing but besmirch and undermine that foundation.  It is ironic that they are called republican (from the Latin: res publica: that which is public) when they hate everything public.  

    During a debate, Obama should assert "we have the best government in the world" challenging the Mittster to deny it.  "What country has a better government, Mitt?"  "Don't you believe in American exceptionalism?"  

    The same challenge should be launched before every Senate and House candidate in the R party.  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:16:26 AM PDT

  •  source on "arts add outsized boost" headline? (4+ / 0-)

    Can anyone locate this story? I can't find it on teh Google, not sure how to use Newseum to do so.... thanks!!

    I know it sounds like I'm in denial but I'm not.

    by Save the clock tower on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:24:38 AM PDT

  •  Taking spit may be new, but this is hardly new (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    thinking.  The study of market bubbles makes plenty of room for emotional "investing", no matter how much rational market economists try to squeeze glazed-over euphoria into a rational container.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:36:48 AM PDT

  •  Hold the presses: Racism still exists. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    Who would've thought?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:42:06 AM PDT

    •  hey, this one's for you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, Larsstephens

      Undoing health law could have messy ripple effects

      http://www.boston.com/...

      It sounds like a silver lining. Even if the Supreme Court overturns President Barack Obama's health care law, employers can keep offering popular coverage for the young adult children of their workers.

      But here's the catch: The parents' taxes would go up.

      That's only one of the messy potential ripple effects when the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the Affordable Care Act this month. The law affects most major components of the U.S. health care system in its effort to extend coverage to millions of uninsured people

      Better Medicare prescription benefits, currently saving hundreds of dollars for older people with high drug costs, would be suspended. Ditto for preventive care with no co-payments, now available to retirees and working families alike.

      Partially overturning the law could leave hospitals, insurers and other service providers on the hook for tax increases and spending cuts without the law's promise of more paying customers to offset losses.

      . And the downside of keeping it?
      If the law is upheld, other kinds of complications could result.

      The nation is so divided that states led by Republicans are largely unprepared to carry out critical requirements such as creating insurance markets. Things may not settle down.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 08:03:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gotta read the Stephens-Davidowitz article (0+ / 0-)

    Really good read.  Indicative that there's still racism in the United States.

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 08:42:59 AM PDT

  •  GOP/Tea Party Cortisol? (0+ / 0-)
    The mental consequences of long- term exposure to heightened cortisol levels include anxiety, selective recall of disturbing memories and a sense of danger lurking everywhere. The market becomes irrationally risk-averse.
    So, why are so many Republicans showing severe symptoms of heightened cortisol levels? Is their bullish and macho behavior being undermined by the fact that the truth tends to have a liberal bias?

    Things that make you go hmmm...

    "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

    by paz3 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 11:10:05 AM PDT

  •  That is the stupidest study... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I can possibly imagine.

    Let's see.  

    Sample is all male.  This is representative of the broader population of people who are active in the stock market?  Really?  I get that it allows them to draw conclusions about correlation between testosterone variations and other factors, but is there any control being done with people not subject to such variations in order to see whether there's any likelihood that this is determinative of anything?  

    FLOOR TRADERS? Again, these quaint historical relics are representative of where the decisions are being made that drive markets?  

    At least as reported by Bloomberg, this is a complete steaming pile of dung as a piece of social science research.

    "Two things that were left out of the bill of rights: the right to leave and the right to change one's mind" --Veronika, in Eustache's La Maman et la putain

    by ed k on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 11:11:15 AM PDT

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