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GameStop, Reddit and irrational markets

Summary:
A critique of the use or markets to decide upon things is that markets can, at times, be irrational. So, given irrationality we should use the rational method - all the clever people in government tell everyone else what to do.Hmm.GameStop and bear squeezes and Reddit and:GameStop shares more than doubled in afternoon trading on Wednesday, surprising those who thought the video game retailer’s stock price would stabilise after a fierce rally and steep dive that upended Wall Street in January. The shares soared nearly 104% during the session in which trading was halted several times, then jumped another 85% after hours.We agree that we have a certain difficulty in picking the rationality out of that. However, it’s also pretty obvious that whatever is going on there is going to be over in a

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A critique of the use or markets to decide upon things is that markets can, at times, be irrational. So, given irrationality we should use the rational method - all the clever people in government tell everyone else what to do.

Hmm.

GameStop and bear squeezes and Reddit and:

GameStop shares more than doubled in afternoon trading on Wednesday, surprising those who thought the video game retailer’s stock price would stabilise after a fierce rally and steep dive that upended Wall Street in January.

The shares soared nearly 104% during the session in which trading was halted several times, then jumped another 85% after hours.

We agree that we have a certain difficulty in picking the rationality out of that. However, it’s also pretty obvious that whatever is going on there is going to be over in a month or three. Keynes did say that markets can stay irrational longer than you can remain solvent (Redditors adapting that to “We can stay retarded longer…..” which we think is fun even if not wholly rational) but that time horizon is still pretty close.

By contrast, the government is to try to bring in E10 fuel to reduce emissions. By their own calculations this makes us half a billion poorer. Yes, that’s after the benefits of the lower emissions off into the future.

The government was also told, that 17 years ago, in the Stern Review that such planning wasn’t the way to deal with the matter. Instead, a carbon tax and we’re done and dusted on this matter. The Review even pointed out that if we use inefficient methods - planning - rather than efficient - markets suitably adjusted - then because of the increased cost we’ll do less climate mitigation because of those higher costs.

Markets can indeed be less than rational but for decades long pighead irrationality there’s nothing to beat government. The argument in favour of markets being that sure, to err is human, but what’s the best correction method we’ve got?

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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