Monday, July 6, 2009

PIMCO Investing outlook

Forecasts based on econometric models inevitably miss these secular/structural breaks in historical patterns because it is impossible to quantify human behavior, and long-term trends involving risk-taking and in turn derisking are decidedly human in their origin. Bell-shaped curves with Gaussian/random distributions fail to anticipate that human beings do not make decisions by chance or independently of each other, but in many cases in reaction to one another. Humanity's personal and social computers appear to be programmed that way. And so, instead of "normal" distributions, economists and investors must learn to be on the lookout for "black swans," and if not, then certainly "fat tails," which differ from the measurement of natural phenomena accepted in science. "New normals," flatter-shaped bell curves, and structural shifts in previously accepted standards become not only possible, but probable as human nature reacts to itself and its prior behavior. The efficient market hypothesis was always dead from the get-go, but academic tenure and Nobel prizes were food for the unwilling or perhaps unthinking.

Link. H/T SimoleonSense