Aug

5

 "Market Mistress" may be more than just amusing shorthand Maybe-like obsessional love-investing is an addiction all along?

According to the following recent report from the L.A. Times, based on numerous amorous studies, falling in intense love is often based on potent threat, fear, worry or shared anxiety. While people can and do fall in love for a variety of reasons, the spark that ignites powerful, flaming love can often occur as a direct result of shared danger, threat or perceived fear. The body 'translates' the anxiety felt in the perilous place and hunkers onto the nearest love object in the vicinity at the time of the anxiety.

Examples are obvious. People who went through the extreme pain of searching for relatives following 9/11 sometimes connected passionately when they would never have looked at the other in balmier circumstances. Ex-pats often hook up when they are living in strenuously difficult new surroundings. Victims of disasters often bond. The body's hormones chug out tides of stimulating substances that connect the dots.If what the researchers have found to be true, men faced with attractive women in the middle of a rickety bridge will much more likely fall in love-or follow up on females they meet in precipitous circumstances-than men who meet those same attractive females on a 'safe' bridge without the ostensible threat of falling to their deaths.[1][1]The 'perils of Pauline' brought about not only the freeing of Pauline from the ropes that bound her to the rail tracks. They often ensured that a grateful and relieved Pauline clung to her shining knight forevermore. Her savior was forever her hero, while his overextended hormones relaxed after his brave effort, and bound him to her.

That being the case, given that the Market Mistress paints people into daily corners of mini-panic, the threat of considerable loss, the anxiety of seeing the market turn against one, and the rush of seeing profits from buying in a propitious moment or filling at a good price when all around are losing share, there would be a good argument that the same engines that drive addictive and heady love are at work for those on the floor with the S&P, the Dpw, NASD and even provocative overseas belles.The lizard brain and the limbic brain hold their mating dance, and the frontal lobes of logic take a hike.

Speaking for one who was befogged by puts and calls for a too-long period and some, the excitement is not dissimilar to being sick with love: Couldn't pull myself away from the numbers, the screen could spell triumph or despair, frequent praying and nail-biting, and wins were only temporary abatements to the urge to invest more, spend more, make more, win against the vicissitudes of the Mistress.That inability to eat, the obsession with the beloved object-investments, especially ones that have high beta-the boredom with whatever comes second, are all symptomatic of the long list of people we know who are primary junkies, in the field as managers or investors, or those who sneak away too often from other terrestrial jobs to see what the Mistress is up to.

In the case of sexual love, says Dr. Helen Fisher, evolutionary anthropologist at Rutgers University who studies human attraction, the tides of sweeping hormonal amplification subside after about 3 to 4 years, after which, collaborative and companionable love replaces the tsunamis of desire and engorgement of love's beginnings. But that doesn't seem to occur in the field of markets.That's regular human love, an 'addiction' that, with time, long-term legal ties, children or demanding work, becomes manageable. Since the Market is not a flesh-and-blood companion, might we not argue that the strained and urgent 'affair' with stocks, bonds, derivatives, currency pools, real estate deals and hedge funds never really abates, its tides constantly seductive and renewed with each day's 9:30 clang! of the bell?


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