From Forbes 3/12/2020, Sentimentrader chart

Why believe a title that says I’d know how to tell dumb from smart money? Because I’ve been both and learned from financial scars accumulated since 1987. I’ve also taught a behavioral investing course called “The History of Human Financial Stupidity — Including Mine”. I had no shortage of my own dumb money cases to give students.

In Liar’s Poker Michael Lewis defined Wall St as a system designed to transfer money from the weak to the strong. Inserting dumb and smart money into this definition makes sense. My dumb money cases have certain features in common. …

Meme Stock Reddit Revolution Edition

More than a few friends and former students have asked me about the Gamestop short squeeze saga and the Reddit retail meme stock revolution. Having taught a behavioral investing course for four years, I viewed this case of usually docile punters using Reddit to take over the casino as potentially profitable, as any example of the market’s bipolar mob psychology should be.

Real economics: the JMK aggregate demand graph (

Debt Zombie Haleynomics: Britain’s Buffett vs the Austrian Austerian

Why channel check firms exist — and how an individual investor can channel check

How the Information You Don’t Have Can Take Your Money

Anyone reading the title must think the writer believes he’s smart money. I confess to having been both, though not simultaneously. My purpose here is to show how dumb money can become smart money, because being at the wrong end of information asymmetry is the very definition of dumb money.

Giulio Andreotti, postwar Italy’s Machiavellian prince of power politics, coined this aphorism: “power exhausts only those who don’t have it.” Similarly, information can exhaust the finances of individual investors because they don’t know about the catalyst that institutional investors may…

Evolution designed humans for pattern recognition since pre-neolithic false positive threat discovery was far less dangerous than a false negative. So we are resistant to randomness by nature. Shared mythology builds the evidence-resistant group loyalty that enhances survivability.

Here's the British WWII example that fueled BoJo's Battle of Britain Brexit: .

I wrote similar pieces about Britain's Channel Islands Shoah, the Netherlands and Italy. Japan, France and Latvia/Lithuania still to come after Jurmala's magnificent global warming summer of swimming is over.

Listen to the cheers for low vaccination rates at the CPAC conference (

It’s the sound of the Trump base’s cancelling vaccination because they can’t credit Trump’s Operation Warp Speed for it. Instead they’re taking off on their own the libs kamikaze mission whose GPS is a Foxified antivaxxer misinfodemic:

The data on anti-vaxxer sentiment says so:

“It’s Obvious Why the American Flag Is Viewed as a Conservative Symbol George Chambers The flag is no longer viewed as a symbol of national unity and it’s all the Left’s fault”

They think the flag is the property of those who share their politics. This delusion has a long history. Conservatives have loved leftie-bashing with the flag since 1919’s Seattle’s general strike, when the Bolshevik revolution tainted the left, unions and labor organizing. For this pseudo-patriots’ demagogy to succeed, scenes like Nazis rallying in Madison Square Garden must disappear down a memory hole…. , 20000 at German-American Bund rally February 20, 1939

…just as they wish they could send these January 6 scenes down the same memory hole:

Fake History Fueled Bojo’s Blitzed Battle of Britain Brexit

From Blitz to Brexit, Churchill to BoJo’s Cake Mix: have it and eat it too!

The Common Thread in All Nations’ Mythologized War Stories

A common thread links all the stops on our myth demolition tour: a narcissistic nationalism that evades uncomfortable, evidence-based truths. These threaten victimology if the nation was defeated and occupied, or an emotionally satisfying glorious victory if it was one of the victors. The latter is the keystone of national ego for WWII’s victors: the UK, the USA and the former USSR. For example, this populist t-shirt version of WWII: And one I did.

All but three of the books listed had not yet been written in 1978, when I was 23 and graduated college. This warrants both optimism and pessimism:

  • Optimism: There will always be books in your future that transform how you view of human history and how the world and the universe work. In the present you will always be ignorant of that transformative future, of your future discoveries. This proves that intellectual progress actually exists. That some of the best books you’ll ever read haven’t yet been written is grounds for optimism.
  • Pessimism: You never know what you don’t know…

Lester Golden

From Latvia I write to share learning from life in 7 languages in 5 countries & seeing fascism die in Portugal & Spain in 1974 and 1976.

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