Yale professor Robert Shiller coined the term ‘irrational exuberance’ to describe the irrational excitement that provides fuel for an accelerating market bubble.
While acting as the Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Alan Greenspan used the phrase to describe the impending Dot-com bubble.
Alan Greenspan issued a warning to the market.
And few listened.
Shortly afterwards, the Dot-com bubble popped.
The thrill of the chase is similar. In the wild, the hunter experiences a state of flow until they capture their pray. In sports, athletes compete until the last buzzer sounds. Musicians perform on stage until they are spent, then they perform one final encore before retiring to their bus.
A frenzy occurs, something magical happens, then the bubble pops.
Someone gets eaten, the basketball game ends, the concert is over.
Then everyone goes home to rest and recover.
Irrational exuberance is Nature’s way of harnessing the irrational spirit of man, focusing it, and making great progress over short periods of time.
It focuses attention and amplifies momentum, using the irrational human as the source of its fuel.
Irrational exuberance is a sign of progress.
But all bubbles pop.
It’s not a matter of if, but when.