The Economist reviews Myth of the Rational Market

I was beginning to go through review withdrawal this morning, and it wasn’t pretty. I was cranky, distracted and unproductive. But I knew there was a chance The Economist would be putting up a review in the early afternoon. Sure enough, The Economist did:

Justin Fox’s description of how the idea evolved and conquered is fascinating and entertainingly told. A statement of investor impotence—an attack on the bold ones (“idiots”, said Larry Summers, a distinguished economist) who think they can beat the market—soon became a near-religious belief. Nobel-laureate preachers, such as Milton Friedman and Merton Miller, proclaimed from the pulpits of the University of Chicago that the market could do no wrong.

That’s a bit unfair to Uncle Miltie—who preached not that the market was perfect but that the government was more likely to do wrong than the market was. But not that unfair. At the end is the money quote:

Mr Fox has written a worthy successor to “Capital Ideas”, the late Peter Bernstein’s 1990s classic on the emergence of the rational-market myth: bang up-to-date; alas, without the happy ending.

The review withdrawal is still coming, of course. Soon. And it’s clearly going to be ugly.

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