The Odds Are

this post will be about deficit finance.

But it isn't!

Here's a quote from yesterday's Wall Street Journal:

'"I certainly wouldn't get out of the stock market," says Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard Group, which offers funds of many types of investments, including stocks and bonds. "The risks we face today are deeply serious," he adds, "but the odds are that stocks will do better" than bonds.'

I think that statement is interesting, in an important way, and misleading. What is misleading is the idea that there is something "out there" called "the odds" about how stocks will do versus bonds (or that the Giants will win next week, or that it will rain tomorrow). By speaking this way, Bogle is bogusly able to remove the personal commitment from his statement. The really meaning of it is either "I am going to bet on stocks versus bonds," or "I think you should bet on stocks versus bonds" (or both). At present, there is no fact whatsoever about the matter of how stocks or bonds will do next year. At the end of next year, there won't be any "odds" of how they will do; they either will or won't have done well.


  1. This fellow is really running a hedge fund.

    Alright, there's your terrible pun of the day!


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