The ‘FOMO’ in New York

It is time to either panic or take advantage of opportunities; the real skill is in detecting the most appropriate moment to invest or play the liquidity card..

Ukrainian Nicolai Gogol (1809-1852) authored many books. Among them was Taras Bulba, an adventure novel with a Cossack protagonist, widely read by Spanish teenagers in the 1970s.

In Dead Souls, undoubtedly his best work, he wrote that “panic is more contagious than the plague and is communicated in an instant.”

Stock market panics are as feared as they are legendary because they have caused — in exactly what proportion, no one knows — both dreadful ruin and sudden fortune. It is a matter of taking advantage of opportunities and being cool-headed. But undoubtedly and most important of all, it involves having no debts, the knot in the hangman’s noose. Panics, moreover, are theoretically twofold, with the fears of either losing everything or missing an opportunity being foregone conclusions.

Currently on Wall Street in the U.S., but also in many markets — the European market, including Spain, is no exception — FOMO prevails: the fear of missing out, so named by Americans with their close-to-unhealthy obsession with acronyms. It is the fear of being left out of the party that will take place when the real recovery arrives. The problem is that the American stock market is still giving off alarm signals. On the other side of the Atlantic in the eurozone, inflation has shot up to 10.7%, almost unheard of since World War II, which for many is prehistory.

Today, Wednesday, the Federal Reserve — the central bank of the U.S. — is very likely to raise interest rates another 75 basis points. Everything indicates that in a few months the price of money will be around 5% there, which means that in the eurozone it will also rise again. It may be painful, but it is the long road to normality, because the price of money in the negative is a contradiction in terms.

On the other hand, it is also a time to either panic or to take advantage of opportunities, because as always everything is possible, with and without “FOMO.” The real skill is in detecting the most suitable moment to invest or to play the liquidity card. Now they call panic “FOMO,” and as Ukrainian Nicolai Gogol used to say, it is as contagious as it can be.

It is the “FOMO” in New York.

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About Patricia Simoni 187 Articles
I began contributing to Watching America in 2009 and continue to enjoy working with its dedicated translators and editors. Latin America, where I lived and worked for over four years, is of special interest to me. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy the beauty of this rural state and traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

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