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Minding the Markets: An Emotional Finance View of Financial Instability Hardcover – 26 May 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230299857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230299856
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

David Tuckett is professor of psychoanalysis at University College London, director of the Emotional Finance Research Project and a fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. He has published books and articles in medical sociology, psychoanalysis and economics. In 2007, the Mary Sigourney Trust presented David Tuckett with a Sigourney Award for distinguished contributions to the field of psychoanalysis, the leading prize in the field. He is a former president of the European Psychoanalytic Federation, editor in chief of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and principal of the health education studies unit at the University of Cambridge.

More information at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychoanalysis/unit-staff/david.htm

Product Description


'Minding the Markets is a real contribution... a book the world really needs.' - George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate and American Economist

'Read this book if you want to understand the behaviour of financial markets.' – Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England

'David Tuckett's work on the emotional underworld of asset management and financial markets is a true tour de force... As psychoanalyst, exceptional interviewer and rare interdisciplinary scholar he has brought sensitivity and sensibility to a world of unreason.' - Neil J.Smelser, University Professor of Sociology Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, USA; and former Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences in Stamford, California and President of the American Sociological Association (1997)

'This book is a treasure trove of pathbreaking and as yet unexplored ideas. Once they enter mainstream economics and politics, both the academic discipline and policy decision making will undoubtedly change. The book is written by a courageous and insightful psychoanalyst whose understanding of economics is profound enough to know that economists have overlooked things of vital importance: the role of emotions, stories, states of minds, and our affective relationships with people, ideas and things. There can be little doubt that these neglected phenomena play an important role in financial crisis and many other economic events.' - Dennis J. Snower, President, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany

'This thought-provoking book lets asset managers tell their stories and reveals a reality quite different from standard finance theory. Theirs is a world of uncertainty rather than known risks, of information overload, short-term thinking, and fear of loss and liability – topped by euphoric dreams of fame. Unlike those behavioral economists who condemn emotions for impeding rational action, David Tuckett reproaches financial theory for ignoring uncertainty and its direct consequence, mental states of doubt, trust, or confidence. He argues that the standard theory itself is part of the problem, as illustrated by the financial crash of 2008. Yet this catastrophic crisis could also be an immense opportunity for a fundamental reform of policy as well as financial theory. Minding the Markets is a highly readable book that introduces the reader at first hand to the emotions and mentality of asset managers.' - Gerd Gigerenzer,Director,Max Planck Institute for Human Development,Berlin; and former Professor of Psychology,University of Chicago, USA

'This book by a psycho-analyst is one of the most original and thought-provoking analyses of the current financial crisis and the emotional underpinnings of financial market behaviour. It synthesizes the emotional thread running through past crises, such as the Tulip mania, Southsea Bubbles and dot.com manias. Compulsory reading for anyone interested in root-and-branch reforms in financial regulations.' - Andrew Sheng, Chief Adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, Adjunct Professor Tsinghua University, Beijing and former Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong
'...fascinating reading...As someone who spent 20 years working as an economist in the fund management industry, I found much in it that rang true and I would strongly recommend it to economists working in the financial sector, or to anyone with an interest in how financial markets work.' - Tony Dolphin, Senior Economist, Institute for Public Policy Research, The Business Economist
'The book comes with stellar recommendations from leading economists which I am happy to echo...this study is a powerful reminder to all economists and market participants of the complexity of human behaviour and should act as a spur to more work by psychoanalysts, economists and others, preferably together.' - John Grieve, Senior Advisor to GLG/ Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, 2006-09, Journal of Analystical Psychology
'Tucket offers a deep understanding of financial market behaviour and investment processes by recognising the role played by unconscious needs and fears in all investment activity. He lays emphasis on the importance of the critical components of human psychology.' - Organiser

Book Description

Tuckett looks beyond behavioural economics and enters a world full of emotion, imagination and fantasy

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
David Tuckett leadsa group at UCL that shows how publicly available data can show when "bubble" sentiment is present and a correction can be expected. This book is based on in depth industry interviews and charts the mental states that allow these predictions to be made. Don't let anyone tell you that a market event was unpredictable!
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By Mary j on 29 Jun 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A psychological take on how and why financial decision makers get it wrong... Based on a Leverhulme funded study of financiers in 2007
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found that as a private investor in the markets (very small), I can some how sympathise with the behaviour with fund managers. For me it was a good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The best explanation for financial crises 27 July 2011
By P. Fonagy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Tuckett's research takes the psychology of the financial market to a new level. He simply asks fund managers to tell their story about managing money. He sifts through them to get us to the crux of the enduring and toxic problem of all financial markets: instability.

The book is serious but it is also massively entertaining taking us inside not just the glass fronted buildings of the city banks, not just the trading room floors inside the buildings but also inside the minds of those who have our money (pensions and other investments) in their hands to invest - so long as they do so profitably.

Mathematical models of the financial markets are best at explaining the past but say little that will predict crises in the future. In the absence of predictability, these exceptionally intelligent and imaginative individuals develop 'products' and theories around these which ultimately turn out to be largely wishful fantasies which permit the illusion of certainty but also fulfill the perpetual human dream of profit without risk. The stories they invent and tell others as well as themselves are highly persuasive and imaginative and become, for a while at least, self-fulfilling -- no one can afford not to believe them. Not until the bubble bursts and 'dot-com' and 'high risk mortgages' turn from 'fantastic (cornicopic) objects' to objects of derision.

Tuckett's book is crammed full of psychological insight as you would expect from one of the world's greatest psychoanalysts. What you might not expect is the economic sophistication and the sociological scholarship. This is a book destined to be a classic and to start a complete new line of inquiry into the psyche of those trading in Wall Street or the City, Frankfurt or Zurich, Honk Kong or Tokyo. These markets work the same way because the minds that work the markets are the same: human.

A great and highly entertaining book. Waiting for the next one.

Peter Fonagy
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Portfolio managers on a shrink's couch 12 Jan 2013
By investingbythebooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fifty-two portfolio managers placed on a shrink's couch, can that make a useful book? It sure can. Award winning psychoanalyst David Tuckett has an initial training as an economist which creates an unusual and fortunate cross pollination of knowledge. While finance and psychology hardly is a novel combination, the twist of psychoanalysis brings something new as Tuckett analyzes the nature of the relationship that PMs have with their investments and draws the conclusion that traditional financial theory is lacking major ingredients. Don't we know it!

Tuckett is struck by the fact that the PMs spoke about buying and selling shares as initiating and ending emotional relations and they did this under heavy influence of their social and institutional environment. What he found was that even though investors were swamped by information and tried to be rational they couldn't make a purchase decision on objective grounds since the future is unknowable. The key was how they still made themselves confident enough to act by creating stories that portrayed some aspect of security as well as the prospect of excellent returns. In a situation of genuine uncertainty and anxiety, confidence sufficient to commit had to be created. Stories gave a reason to act to buy a stock and even more importantly to stay with it. In a sense the market is then the process of trading in competing and ever changing stories.

When the PMs bought their shares they generally thought they had an information advantage but as soon as they were owners they instantly started to worry that they were in an information dis-advantage. Tuckett characterized the process of owning shares as a long distance relationship where you are emotionally dependant on someone who you can only have distorted information about and saw the same type of love and hate feelings towards shares for their ability to satisfy and frustrate as in love relationships. The management of companies was often seen as deputies for the shares and was the "target for the outlet of a great deal of feeling." One way of handling the anxiety of ownership is to seek the companionship of likeminded, to give up individual thinking and decision making and instead join a community of what Tuckett calls groupfeel. The snowballing price effect of a growing community is tremendously stressful for those who underperform and risk their jobs in the process. According to Tuckett this creates an open economic system with bounded rationality and reflexive interactions.

It's not light reading the author serves us. The book resembles a 200-page paper on social psychology; you need a basic understanding of the thought process and concepts of the area to find it fluent. Still it's a worthwhile book to read as it is sufficiently different and it resonates well with day to day life of an equity PM. There are traces of capitalism criticism light á la Stiglitz-Krugman, which is fine in itself but as the text is meant to be an academic work it somewhat tarnishes the impression of objectivity. In my opinion there is also a certain amount of von oben-attitude in the author's writing where the PMs are seen as lab rats trapped in a process which they do not have the ability to see beyond, at the same time as Tuckett not only has the ability to read their psychological state but also knows that shares follow a random walk and thus the work the PMs do is pointless to start with. Not all of the above is necessarily true.

The findings are portrayed as brand new input to how to define economic theory. In reality anyone who has read his choice of books on behavioural finance, complexity theory and bubbles such as Extraordinary Popular Delusions [...] will have drawn similar conclusions. Yet, the book does add new perspectives as most insights in behavioural finance come from psychological experiments done on either students or volunteers in an academic setting or on patients suffering from some sort of defect. Hence, it's good that Tuckett target real PMs and the psychoanalytical angle also give the dish a slightly different flavouring than most behavioural finance texts. Even though the conclusions might have been similar it could have been valuable to interview other than equity PMs, especially as Tuckett draws conclusions to the recent financial crisis and that didn't originate on the stock market.

The book presents one small piece of the puzzle in our understanding of markets. Even if Tuckett hardly presents a new economic theory this is good enough.

This is a review by investingbythebooks.com
Five Stars 23 Nov 2014
By Denis A. Kleinfeld - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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