Buttle's World

8 May, 2010

What’s the Best Way to Pop a Bubble?

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 11:25

Try to read the whole thing. But at least get this bit:

The critics of investors who go short (i.e., bet that an asset’s price will decline) and of the firms that create the investment vehicles by which they may do so are mistaken when they say these investments produce nothing of value. Most obviously, many investors who take short positions are simply trying to hedge other long bets. Their short positions therefore produce valuable risk reduction that enhances liquidity. But even the derivatives traders who aren’t hedging their own bets — even those who are merely “speculating” or, to use the favored term of derision, “gambling” — are producing something that’s absolutely essential to economic growth: information. When an investor buys a put (an option to sell), short sells a stock, or purchases a credit default swap on a debt security, he’s sending a powerful signal: “I believe this asset is overvalued, and I’m willing to bet my own money on that belief.”

Freedom works. And the idea that a government Oracle can “manage” markets is as dangerous as it is stupid. “Fat Cats”, on the other hand, help everybody and harm nobody. Stop and think about it: What do the rich do with their money?

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