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Why Is the EMF Theory So Widely Advocated?

Consider (source) an excerpt:

Why is the EMF theory so widely advocated? Academics love EMH because they can claim that they have mathematics-based formulas which can predict the future even though the underlying assumptions (borrowed from physics) are provably false. For a professor, the ability to create beautiful mathematics is important since it means that they are less likely to be teased by physicists in the faculty club. Life is infinitely more interesting for an academic if they can create beautiful mathematics in their papers.

Charlie Munger adds:

“I have a name for people who went to the extreme efficient market theory—which is “bonkers.” It was an intellectually consistent theory that enabled them to do pretty mathematics. So I understand its seductiveness to people with large mathematical gifts. It just had a difficulty in that the fundamental assumption did not tie properly to reality.”

More Munger:

“The possibility that stock value in aggregate can become irrationally high is contrary to the hard-form “efficient market” theory that many of you once learned as gospel from your mistaken professors of yore. Your mistaken professors were too much influenced by “rational man” models of human behavior from economics and too little by “foolish man” models from psychology and real-world experience.”

More Munger:

“Efficient market theory [is] a wonderful economic doctrine that had a long vogue in spite of the experience of Berkshire Hathaway. In fact one of the economists who won — he shared a Nobel Prize — and as he looked at Berkshire Hathaway year after year, which people would throw in his face as saying maybe the market isn’t quite as efficient as you think, he said, “Well, it’s a two-sigma event.” And then he said we were a three-sigma event. And then he said we were a four-sigma event. And he finally got up to six sigmas — better to add a sigma than change a theory, just because the evidence comes in differently. [Laughter] And, of course, when this share of a Nobel Prize went into money management himself, he sank like a stone.”

I will add more to this on today’s podcast (will be episode 51).

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