Thomas Sowell is one of the most influential economists, syndicated columnists, and social critics of the past half-century, having authored provocative, best-selling books on everything from race relations to childhood development to, most recently, Charter Schools and Their Enemies. His masterworks include Knowledge and Decisions, which uses Friedrich Hayek’s insights about distributed information to explain both how markets work and why intellectuals disdain markets; A Conflict of Visions, which explores the ideological origins of political struggles; and Basic Economics, a best-selling primer now in its fifth edition.
Sowell’s inspiring life—he was born black and poor in North Carolina in 1930 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago at the age of 38—and expansive work are now the subjects of a new documentary, Common Sense in a Senseless World (watch here) and a forthcoming biography titled Maverick.
The consternation over the stock price surges at GameStop and AMC is rooted in their disconnect with their financial performance – both companies are losing money, made worse by the pandemic lockdowns.
The other shoe is yet to drop for those who bid up the share price of GameStop, according to Indarte. “I think we’re going to see more pain felt potentially by the retail investors that are in effect bidding up the price of GameStop,” she predicted. “It’s hard to justify the prices that we’ve been seeing for the company, based on the company’s fundamentals.” In the latest quarter, GameStop reported a 30% fall in revenues to $1 billion and a loss of $18.8 million. Similarly, AMC has also shuttered most of its theaters, and recently secured $917 million in financing to stave off bankruptcy.
In addition to the soundness of its fundamentals, a company’s stock price can also be driven by investor sentiment, “but there is large heterogeneity between different companies for the importance of both,” according to Binsbergen. Much of the price discovery depends on the liquidity and the total market capitalization of the stock, he noted. Small and illiquid stocks are more susceptible to non-fundamental price movements than larger stocks, he explained.