Paul Samuelson - Market Quotes
8 Sourced Quotes
From the beginning I could not believe that the efficient market hypothesis was dependent on a pure Brownian motion white noise or any truly random random walk. Place a minuscule colloidal molecule on a horizontal table that covers unlimited acres. Bombard it from every direction with thousands of minute atoms; and then if you wait long enough that original molecule can have traveled a billion miles in one direction. That's truly a random Bachelier-Einstein walk, but not my notion of economic fluctuations.
The failure of market catallactics in no way denies the following truth: given sufficient knowledge the optimal decisions can always be found by scanning over all the attainable states of the world and selecting the one which according to the postulated ethical welfare function is best. The solution 'exists'; the problem is how to 'find' it.
I return to economics and to economists, and to the question of why the profession's directions have evolved in the manners evident from this book. A major conservative economist once explained that a source of his antipathy to government traced back to the defeat of his southern ancestors by a larger north economy. Here is a similar factoid. Joan Robinson once wrote that her opposition to having the U. K. enter the European Market was due to the fact that she had more friends in [Nehru's] India than on the continent.
To prove that Wall Street is an early omen of movements still to come in GNP, commentators quote economic studies alleging that market downturns predicted four out of the last five recessions. That is an understatement. Wall Street indexes predicted nine out of the last five recessions! And its mistakes were beauties.