Monday, February 13, 2012

Soccer is More Interesting than Stocks

Fascinating to see an ECB working paper reporting that trading declines by about half when an important international soccer match is on TV, at least in a country whose team is playing. And the correlation between that country's markets and other world markets drops as well.

Which reminds me of the old joke that Dan May, a 20th century Nashville industrialist, used to tell.  A surveyor called him and asked, "Mr. May, how many people work at your factory?" He thought for a moment and replied, "About half."

The more serious academic point, which the ECB paper (I have only glanced at it) touches on, and which Robert Shiller has mentioned, is that attention is a scarce resource.