Unclear, from Nigel Davies

October 6, 2008 |

G M NigelChessplayers have a strange vocabulary that may be of benefit to market people. For positions in which they know what is happening they'll say, 'White is better' or 'Black is better' or 'equal' or 'absolutely equal'. Either side can also be 'much better' or 'winning'.

For positions in which they don't know what's happening the word 'unclear' is often used. This means that they don't know what's happening but apply a term to it so that it represents and intelligent assessment. It's this point that I believe can be of most interest to those involved in markets, as usually people feel obliged to have an opinion.

Accordingly I'd describe a whole range of market scenarios as 'unclear', as well as the likely outcomes of seemingly obvious interventions. What has most struck me about the various bailouts, for example, is that they appear not to consider the dynamic effects of various parties' reactions. For example, I doubt that a war for capital had been considered, which now seems to be developing between both nations and banks. Presumably this kind of thing will also happen at an individual level when the credit crunch becomes more apparent to the man on the street. It only seems like these events might be controlled whilst in reality the situation is… completely unclear.


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