Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Wisdom of crowds

The 'wisdom of crowds' idea seems often to over-state the effect of the market. It seems to suggest that there is some new or greater knowledge that is created by the interaction of an efficient market. This is only true, I think, if we consider the combination of existing knowledge into a useful package.

Felix Salmon looks at the criticism of CDS by Robert Waldmann.

In general, I think it's reasonable to say that market participants do over time change their views about such things as future earnings and default probabilities, often using often inchoate macroeconomic information, including simple anecdotal observation, rather than anything granular or specific. The change in those views is reflected in a change in market prices for stocks and bonds, and indeed the market is pretty much the only place where a large number of individual anecdotal observations can coalesce into something as quantifiable as a default probability

How useful is this? Does the benefit of real-time, quantitative measure of sentiment outweigh the negative effects of liquidity?

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