April 2021: Is There Irrational Exuberance in Financial Markets?

April 03, 2021

"Nothing so undermines your financial judgment as the sight of your neighbor getting rich."

- & J.P. Morgan, 1837 – 1913, American financier and banker who dominated corporate finance during his time

Is There Irrational Exuberance in Financial Markets?

He has been hailed as one of the foremost scientific intellects the world has ever known, revolutionizing the sciences of physics, mathematics, and astronomy. To this day, he is considered one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. As a result of his work, he was elected President of the Royal Society of London in 1703 and was knighted by Queen Anne during a royal visit to Trinity College in 1705, making him only the second scientist to receive the accolade after Sir Francis Bacon in 1703. He was wealthy by the standards of the day and usually a cautious investor.

Yet for all his brilliance in the fields of science and mathematics, Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) ended up making some financially disastrous decisions in the stock market. The scientist who is credited with discovering the law of universal gravitation was evidently unfamiliar with the laws of financial gravity: what goes up must come down, and what goes up the most will come down the hardest.

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