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There is no space for sentiment in the world of investments. It is all about the making of money, profit and loss, a cut-throat world where risks can offer great reward but potential catastrophe. This is something inherently human driven – all the decisions to buy and sell are in some way linked to human behaviour, though often in many cases the actions themselves are taken by computer software. Whether the proliferation of software in buying and selling on the market should proliferate to the degree it does is a rather thorny issue – it’s not too hard to imagine a situation where a bug, hack or merely strange set of circumstances means that the world’s economy is destroyed by computers we designed to make money from it.
Regardless of this unanswered question, the markets make for fascinating study. They seem alive, responding to different stimuli – news might come through about a problem with a particular commodity or firm and the markets will flinch and recoil. It might prove stubborn in one area, fickle and capricious in others. Perhaps the worlds first artificial intelligence might not be created in an electronics lab, but arise from the complex set of interacting computers that control and shape the world’s financial markets. Who knows, maybe one day they will be buying and selling us…? NB