Hereís Ed at Gin and Tacos on his dabblings in the stock market:
My tolerance for the absurdity of the whole enterprise is in decline. Every time I make a profitable transaction now, I canít stop thinking, ďWhy do I have more money now? I didnít do anything.Ē And I didnít. Nobody who plays this game does. It is a world in which nothing is produced and destroyed except money itself. One day you buy something for x dollars. The next, you sell it for 1.5x. Your personal profit is money created out of thin air.
And this, on a much larger scale, is the dominant profession of our financial (and social, and political) elite. They create ever more complex financial instruments out of other intangible financial assets and then they sell them to one another and everyone walks away with money even though nothing happened. The old saying about the stock markets being a form of liarís poker is a lie inasmuch as poker is a more legitimate enterprise. Real money changes hands between real people performing a transaction with a payout agreed upon in advance.
These people Ė our Producers, our Galtian heroes, our Job Creators Ė are people who donít actually make, create, or produce anything. Itís all blips and clicks and algorithms and trades programmed to self-execute when defined parameters are met. It takes knowledge and a specific talent to do this successfully; that is indisputable. Regardless, I can never wrap my mind around how Ö intrinsically worthless are the ďassetsĒ involved in this game. The only thing that the hedge fund manager or the day trader creates is personal wealth.