lunedì 12 marzo 2012

Non occorre essere stupidi per fare schiocchezze: l'ex chairman della Fed Greenspan ha investito nei fondi Madoff

Tempo fa in un articolo sul Financial Times l’ex chairman della Federal Reserve Alan Greespan ha picchiato duro contro l’Europa e l’Euro – come sempre ha fatto gran parte dell’establishment americano: “The ranking of credit risk spreads by size across the eurozone in 2010 was almost identical to the ranking of the level of unit labour costs (relative to that of Germany), suggesting that the higher labour costs and prices have rendered “euro-south” less competitive and so more subject to credit risk. The more competitively priced net exports of the northern eurozone participants, in effect, more than covered the rising level of net imports of the south. In short, between 1999 and the first quarter of 2011, there has been a continuous net transfer of goods and services shipped from the north to the south. Northern Europe in effect has been subsidising southern European consumption from the onset of the euro on January 1 1999. It is not a recent phenomenon….If the euro is to remain a viable currency across the eurozone, members must behave in the responsible manner contemplated in the Maastricht treaty. But it is not clear that culture, so integral to a nation’s personality, can be easily altered. As Kieran Kelly noted last week: “ . . . if I lived in a country like this [Greece], I would find it hard to stir myself into a Germanic taxpaying life of capital accumulation and arduous labour. The surrounds just aren’t conducive”.

La credibilità di Greenspan è un po’ appannata dopo l’ultima crisi, viste le conseguenze delle politiche monetarie ultraespansive e della deregulation che ha portato all’abrogazione dello Glass Steagall Act.

Pail Krugman
Il premio Nobel Paul Krugman pensa che sia stato il peggior Governatore della storia della Fed. Noi ci limitiamo a ricordare un fatto strettamente legato alla finanza comportamentale, ossia la branca della finanza che unisce in sè aspetti di psicologia cognitiva e teorie finanziarie in senso stretto.

Abbiamo parlato tempo fa di Bernard Madoff – vedi post Il caso Madoff, il mastino Irving, Unicredito e il rischio reputazionale e della truffa gigantesca che ha ideato e portato a termine per un lungo periodo di tempo.

Tett e Gelles hanno chiuso la loro intervista a Madoff (Madoff spins his story, FT, 9 april 2011) commentano con saggezza: “The fact that so much of Madoff’s story is so commonplace on Wall Street – the tax shelters, black boxes and mysterious returns – is what allowed him to go undetected for so long. And this is why Madoff has sent chills through investors at every level. If most sophisticated minds in finance were easily duped through an elementary scheme run by one of their own, how can anyone with money invested in the modern financial system know who to trust?

Alla fine del 2008 è emerso che Greenspan ha perso il 30% dei propri risparmi con il crack Madoff, avendo investito in uno dei feeder fund che ne alimentavano le gestioni.

La domanda che ci facciamo noi più banale. Come ha fatto l’ex chairman della Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan a convincersi a investire nei fondi di Madoff?

Una possibile risposta? In due libri:

Alan Greenspan
1. Non occorre essere stupidi per fare schiocchezze, Paolo Legrenzi (Il Mulino, 2010). Anche Greenspan ci è cascato.

2.Annals of Gullibility: Why We Get Duped and How to Avoid It (Praeger Publishers, autore Stephen Greenspan, uno psicologo, no relation to Alan). Lo psicologo e Phd Americano ci spiega con grande perizia come mai milioni di persone credano troppo facilmente a fenomeni che si rivelano poi illusori, manipolatori e dannosi.

2 commenti:

  1. Sei sicuro che non sia stato Greenspan (Stephen) a farsi fregare i retirement savings (read below) ? Può capitare ovviamente ma gli squali hanno un sesto senso per non farsi fottere dai loro simili…….

    Madoff Made Off With My Money
    Posted Fri, 2008/12/26 - 20:51 by Juan F
    Academics, intellectuals, and skeptics prefer to think of themselves as smarter than the likes of Bernard Madoff, who until recently was a highly respected hedge fund manager. Here is one professor's account. Stephen Greenspan, a professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado and author of Annals of Gullibility, gives an academic account of how he was pulled in.Greenspan writes, "I lost a good chunk of my retirement savings to Mr. Madoff, so I know of what I write on the most personal level."
    Here are some things that helped with the deception:
    #1. Reasonable returns were promised. "Madoff promised modest rather than spectacular gains. Sophisticated investors would have been highly suspicious of a promise of gains as spectacular as those promised almost 100 years earlier by Charles Ponzi."
    #2. Use of impressive and trusted people (franchisees) to pull the buyer in: I, along with most Madoff investors (except for the super-rich) did not invest directly with Madoff but went through one of 15 “feeder” hedge funds that then turned all of their assets over to Madoff to manage. . . The micro social context in which I made the decision to invest in the Rye fund came about when I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Boca Raton, Florida and met a close friend of theirs who is a financial adviser who was authorized to sign people up to participate in the Rye (Madoff-managed) fund. I genuinely liked and trusted this man, and was persuaded by his claim that he had put all of his own (very substantial) assets in the fund, and had even refinanced his house and placed all of the proceeds in the fund.
    #3. Trusting consultants to make decisions in a business you know nothing about . . "it is safe to assume that deficiencies in knowledge and/or clear thinking often are implicated in a gullible act. . . In my own case, the decision to invest in the Rye fund reflected both my profound ignorance of finance, and my somewhat lazy unwillingness to remedy that ignorance. To get around my lack of financial knowledge and my lazy cognitive style around finance, I had come up with the heuristic of identifying more financially knowledgeable advisers and trusting in their judgment and recommendations. This heuristic had worked for me in the past and I had no reason to doubt that it would work for me in this case."
    #4. An easily scammable personality: The double whammy of wanting to please and a propensity to act impulsively. "I happen to be a highly trusting person who also doesn’t like to say “no” (such as to a sales person who had given me an hour or two of his time). The need to be a nice guy who always says “yes” is, unfortunately, not usually a good basis for making a decision that could jeopardize one’s financial security. In my own case, trust and niceness were also accompanied by an occasional tendency towards risk-taking and impulsive decision-making."

  2. Ricevo e volentieri pubblico:

    Caro Piccone,

    la notizia che Greenspan ha investito nei fondi Madoff, spiega tante cose.

    Cari saluti. Marco Vitale