[FoRK] UNreasonable Markets

Tom Higgins <tomhiggins at gmail.com> on Tue May 29 09:44:18 PDT 2007

Talk about faith based markets...I heard this first on NPR last week
and now am seeing it echo round the ol blogspaces...

"Last week, The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page article by James
T. Areddy about the influence of numerology on Chinese stock trading.
As we've blogged about before, belief in lucky numbers is a huge piece
of Chinese life. The article highlights how the value of a stock can
hinge on the presence of "lucky 8s" in numeric ticker symbols or share
prices, while a 4, considered unlucky, can have an equally
destabilizing effect. With private individuals constituting 60% to 80%
of all Chinese traders, that's a lot of people betting on a scant few
numbers.

Financial heavyweights like Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch aren't
thrilled at the influence that seemingly random numbers exert on the
country's economy. "This is a reflection of a very immature market,"
Jing Ulrich, chairman of China equities for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.,
told the Journal. Still, as with the case of investor Yan Caigen, who
bought 30,000 shares of a cement company because the stock's ticker
code held double 8s and subsequently turned a profit of $50,000, a
little luck is a nice thing to have."

http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/2007/05/29/lucky-8s-extend-to-stock-trading-in-china/

-tomhiggins

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