No Walking on the (Wall) Street

I admit, there are many things about the average American that I don’t understand.

  • I don’t understand why Americans get so obsessed with celebrities (see Britney Spears).
  • I don’t understand how people get SO invested in a sports team as to feel extreme emotional shifts when events they don’t have any control over occur.
  • I don’t understand why people get so excited about MySpace and other social networking.
  • I don’t understand how or why people spend so much money on luxury items like wine or watches.
  • I don’t understand how people can settle at some point and become copasetic with not advancing further.
  • I don’t understand why people empower the mainstream media by watching stories and later question the motives for doing the story.
  • I don’t understand why people buy things from SPAM messages!
  • I don’t understand people who are against something because of a literal interpretation of a religious text but fail to see the inconsistencies and inapplicable parts. It seems odd to be both literal and selective about such things.

Apparently, though, if you’re on Wall Street you don’t need to understand people. It’s interesting, I think, to see how the views and behaviors of the average person plays into the decisions of investment bankers, traders, and analysts alike. In my view, they really don’t. One can model a company and dig into their business, completely focused on the consumer, and never really have been in their position. I find it fascinating how little the actual results of any consumer focused company seem to forward looking (figuring out how consumers will think) versus backward looking (what happened this past quarter?). Just a thought.

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2 Comments on “No Walking on the (Wall) Street”

  1. quantum probability Says:

    b) it’s fun, something to care about
    c) it’s fun, you keep up with your distance friends easier
    d) romance / dreams
    e) they realize there’s more to life than career
    g) long tail
    h) When you’re religious, the rubric for making decisions is different. The starting point is different, the rules of evaluation are different, and the answer-checking is different.

  2. quantum probability Says:

    Accounting / finance / B-school people run too much of the business world, rather than common sense people / listeners.

    On the other hand, if you have mounds of data you can try to approach consumer behavior “scientifically” — though this is better for imputing than extrapolating and leads more to a country filled with franchises along highways than a land of innovation and imagination.


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