I have worked in financial markets since the mid 1970s. My university education (Kent and the LSE) trained me as an economist, but trading in financial markets taught me about the primacy of crowd behaviour. I wrote my first book, 'Forecasting Financial Markets', in the mid-1980s. It brought together a number (what were then) new ideas on collective behaviour. In short, the switch from the assumption of rational behaviour (as explicitly used by economists) to the assumption of non-rational behaviour (as implicitly used by market technicians) brought into focus a non-random and ordered world that facilitated regular rhythms and recurring patterns. The book was not published until after the shock of the 1987 equity crash had brought to public attention the need for a different way of thinking. 'Forecasting Financial Markets' is now in its sixth edition and has been translated into a number of languages.
The idea that conventional economic theory is not fully applicable to the realities of economic and financial life has, for me, never gone away. I have undergone trainings in psychotherapy and in Neuro-Linguistic Programming in order to delve more deeply into the complexities of the human mind, and I have researched alternative approaches to understanding collective behaviour. The result has been a second book, 'The Law of Vibration', which raises the idea that the evolution of economic and financial market behaviour is not a random process, but instead follows a very specific pattern. It seems that this pattern was known about in antiquity, was taught by the great mindfulness exponent George Gurdjieff, and was actively used by the hugely successful stock market trader William D. Gann. It could have been used by observers to predict the global financial crisis of 2008-09. The chances are that this recurring pattern - which is essentially a learning pattern - occurs at all levels of life. If it were to be found in quantum physics or in cosmology, the implications would be immense.