Why discussions about complex subjects (like Macroeconomics) are useful for everybody
Just a quick thought inspired by a comment.
I am not picking on portefeuille, I really am not. But he made this comment in my last post QE is not Inflationary, Thoughts on Risk Asset Instability:
[I] think I should write about macroeconomics even less than I do about biotech (almost everybody else should do that as well).
I have seen others express very similar sentiments, that talking about macroeconomics is basically a waste of time by the lay person because it is such a complex subject and really takes an expert to fully understand and appreciate the nuances.
And you know what, I don't fully disagree with the viewpoint.
But I would like to offer why I think it is a still useful exercise, at least from my point of view.
I am not an expert on macroeconomics. Not even a little bit. I have a very avid interest in it. I have studied it from the viewpoint of an amateur for years. And I have an analytical mind. I like to follow data. I like to use logic to try to come to conclusions.
My posts are almost always thought experiments. I study a subject that I believe I understand at least at some basic level, and write it down to get it out of my head, to take a step back and examine it. I go one step further and actually post it in my blog because I want to discuss it as well. But I am never trying to pass off my posts as authoritative. Because they are not.
There are true experts here at Caps (Floridabuilder springs to mind immediately) who can really speak from authority. In that case it pays to simply pay attention and not to debate.
I personally learn quite a lot by the discussion and debate of concepts. And I think most are the same way.
Investing (doing Fundamental Analysis on a stock) is kind of in the same category. How many of us can claim the investing knowledge of Peter Lynch? Probably none on Caps at any rate. But should that prevent us from talking about Book Value, Enterprise Value, Discounted Cash Flow, competitive moats, etc.? Absolutely not. Caps thrives on people coming together and discussing concepts above our heads to challenge ourselves to become smarter.
So when I bring up macroeconomic subjects, I am thinking in the same vein. Will I ever become a macroeconomic genius? Will I ever fully understand the US economy? Will I be able to explain complex global economic interactions? Not a chance.
But that doesn't mean I shouldn't talk about it. Because discussing the topic will make me smarter. Even if I start from a place of error, maybe somebody will point me in the right direction. And others will read it and also come to a better understanding.
And I can't see how that's not ultimately useful to the community.