June 25, 2009

This particular efficient market hypotheses was murdered and I am not buying any efficient regulator hypotheses

Sir James Montier observes that “The efficient market theory is as dead as Python’s parrot” June 25. After duly goggling what he meant by that, I agree, but only as to the death of this particular parrot and not to the extinction of its whole specie. You see our current efficient market parrot did not die of natural causes it was murdered. Murdered by some scheming banking regulators in Basel who decided that one of the lead actors of the market, the banks, had to swallow a pill of arbitrarily set of capital requirements based on vaguely defined risk and as measured by some external credit rating agencies. It proved to be just too venomous.

Montier could be suffering a state of shock like when he writes “new research shows that career risk and business risk are the prime drivers of most professional investors” as if that was something new, as if we really wanted or expected that to be different; or when he writes “there isn’t a scrap of evidence to suggest that we can actually see the future at all” like even if it were true we should not try to do our best to look into the future. Then again anyone capable of describing the current regulatory approach as “the markets know best” has either no idea of what he is talking about (I am always suspicious of anyone that uses many quotations) or is pursuing a completely different agenda. Just in case I rather go searching after any other efficient market hypotheses or even use the current carcass to clone a new one than to buy myself an efficient regulator hypothesis.