When the Elevator Goes Into Free-Fall

Conversation in the elevator:

HIM: How’s it going?
ME:  About as terrible as you’d figure.
HIM: Yeah. Well, if it gets bad enough, you can always kill yourself.
ME: ???
HIM: That’s what they say, people kill themselves for financial reasons more than for any other reason.
ME: Gotcha. But I don’t think that’s exactly right. Financial losses is more correct. I don’t think many people kill themselves because they are having trouble making ends meet. They kill themselves because of substantial financial reverses - because they lost money, not because they don’t have it.
HIM: I guess that’s right. But why would that be?
ME: A bunch of reasons I’d say. Partly because loss-aversion is pre-programmed into us. Partly because anybody who loses a lot of money probably bet a lot of money, which probably means he has a lot of ego bound up in financial success. But a big reason has got to be that financial ruin is an unavoidable fact. Maybe your wife left you not because of anything you did but because she’s just a bitch. But when you’ve lost your life’s savings in the market, it’s just gone. There’s nothing to debate. It’s a fact – and no other fact is relevant.

It’s been that kind of a week in my world. None of y’all are actively trading in the credit markets, are you? Didn’t think so.