Home > Behavioural Economics, Financial Markets, Interest Rates > Overconfidence and the bursting of the bubble.

Overconfidence and the bursting of the bubble.

Below is a chart which looks at the dangers of over optimism in markets – Keynes referred to this as ‘Animal Spirits’. Nobel economist Daniel Kahneman describes overconfidence as the engine of capitalism but there are concerns whether the success of entrepreneurs in markets is due to their skill or the fact that a lot of luck is involved. One thing is for sure – when they are successful they tend to become overconfident about their ability to survive a crisis. This in turn inflates asset prices which makes asset buyers more optimistic about borrowing more money and banks more confident of repayment. However, as we have seen it all comes to a head and the bubble bursts.

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  1. Jamie Beaton
    March 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Could you outline the actual economic disintegration process that takes place during a bust? Asset prices may be overrated but if this trend is widely accepted and buyers have confidence where does the issue lie? There is supply at the price level and demand at the price level

    • March 8, 2012 at 12:08 am

      It has been suggested that bubbles might ultimately be caused by processes of price coordination or emerging social norms. Because it is often difficult to observe intrinsic values in real-life markets, bubbles are often conclusively identified only in retrospect, when a sudden drop in prices appears. Such a drop is known as a crash or a bubble burst. Both the boom and the burst phases of the bubble are examples of a positive feedback mechanism, in contrast to the negative feedback mechanism that determines the equilibrium price under normal market circumstances. Prices in an economic bubble can fluctuate erratically, and become impossible to predict from supply and demand alone. From Wikipedia.

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