The erudite and esteemed historian of ours raises the question what can we learn from ancient Rome. Richard Epstein [cv ], believes that almost all that is good in our own law comes from Rome. Nock believed that only classics should be taught in college because everything good and bad happened in Rome and Greece and all we have to do is learn from the mistakes. I have always believed with Nock that the stock market will do whatever it has to do to increase agrarian reform, i.e. whatever will create a easier flow for reduction of social power and increase in the palindrome type of state. I often follow that line in my own trading. Do you believe Rome, Caesar, the two wolf men et al the Greeks, have things to help up with our investing?

Stefan Jovanovich writes:

Eddy aka our daughter Nora had the great good fortune to study Art History at Cal Berkeley while doing the requisite training in molecular and cell biology that would enable her to go to the wikipedia school of medicine at UCLA. She had the even greater good fortune to discover Andrew Stewart and make certain that she took every one of his classes. This left Eddy with the handicap of having the closest thing to an Oxbridge education one could get in America; Stewart was a kind, clever and relentless tutor; he even forgave her at graduation for abandoning a career in art history for the dubious privilege of wearing progressively longer white coats.

My apologies for the long-winded preamble; I am attempting to explain where I got my answer to the Chair's question. The "Greeks" of the Hellenistic period, not the classical one, are the people from whom we should take our lessons about finance; for they are the people who established the patterns of trade - grain from Egypt, Crimea and Sicily, manufactures from the Eastern Mediterranean, spices and clothes from West Asia, etc. - that endured in spite of the Roman's preference for military-industrial pillage. 

Dylan Distasio writes: 

 Today marks the 2000th anniversary of the death of the emperor, Augustus.

If our esteemed historian would be so kind, I was hoping he might provide one of his favorite books on either Augustus or ancient Rome in general.

Stefan Jovanovich replies: 

Karl Galinsky's "Augustus: Introduction to the Life of an Emperor"

His discussion of Augustus as a politician is the best description of how "Rome" actually worked politically that I have ever read.

Pete Earle adds: 

Ironically, this was published today as a 'Think Piece' by the Adam Smith Institute: "Currency Reform in Ancient Rome". In it I look at four obscure emperors and their efforts (as well as their fates) with respect to shoring up the denarius as Rome entered its "Age of Inflation".





Speak your mind

2 Comments so far

  1. Mark Schaeffer on August 19, 2014 2:36 pm

    Victor, two shares:

    1) I came to the same conclusions about the Arms Index when I happened upon your 2001 article that found no functional relationship between Arms and the market. However, I recently tried inverting it in it’s unadulterated form and charted it against the advance-decline line. I’ve been completely surprised to see it working as a leading indicator for the advance-decline. In my experience, nothing leads anything in the markets so that’s been unexpected. Especially since Arms is uniquely perverse. Easy set up; love to get your eyes on it.

    2) I’m marketing the first service to use statistical pattern recognition to predict the odds of security price retracement. We currently cover ES, NQ, DJI, DIA, DXD, SPX, SPY, SDS, SSO. We’re also looking for a partner to fund completion of a trading platform that takes the same concept to the tick level. 10-15% risk controlled annual returns in the situations we advise. I’d really like to get your eyes on that. Okay, I’d settle for a conference call with the principal for starters. If we can’t get you jazzed in fifteen minutes, you’re off the hook.

    Btw, I marketed Ian Arvin’s dynamic factor model previously. My space is highly predictive quant analytics. More and more, that means trade analytics.

    Mark Schaeffer

  2. Gregory Rehmke on August 24, 2014 7:52 pm

    Some years ago I took a graduate course on Greek Art at Univ. of St. Thomas in Houston. A fascinating experience. One of the books assigned was Kitto’s “The Greeks” which was great. Other books I enjoyed (though not assigned): Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Other Greeks” and Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, “The Ancient City.” The Freeman published my essay on economic ideas from the Greeks: “Property Rights and Law Among the Ancient Greeks” (where I wrote, as they say, all that I knew on the topic, and more).


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