It’s coming up on awards season. The Emmys were last week and weirdly, I got a thought bubble about nominees in the Black Swan category, walking the red carpet looking for attention! Think the Masquerade scene from Phantom of the Opera when the Phantom comes prancing down the stairs to harsh the festivities (at least he sang well).
We have some obvious nominees today. But are they the real thing? Will they move markets? We have, with some reason, become inured to the disruptive headlines howling about threats to our way of life. Is there simply too much chaos out there to pick out the things which are really relevant from the noise? Our 24-hour news cycle is hardly helpful, is it? The talking heads, with practiced expressions of concern, seriousness of purpose and faux competence, serve up our daily quantum of fear and distress (Film at 11!). Don’t they seem almost gleeful to report yet another potential disaster? With breathy anxiety, designed to tug at our atavistic fight or flight instincts, they repurpose as news exaggeration, hyperbole, vague allegations, unconfirmed reports and sheer speculation.
The scary part is, of course, that buried and obscured in all that noise might be real news, things that investors and market participants really ought to be paying attention to because they will matter. The trick is sussing out the stuff that matters from the stuff that doesn’t.
So, we really do need to take into account these aspirational swans. One of them could be that figurative dead archduke.
Let’s take a stroll along the red carpet and chat up some of these swans.