Markets’ Visible Hand

Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done.
Robert Heinlein

Over 200 years ago, Adam Smith wrote that “[producers] are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life (Wealth of Nations, p. 540).”

The phrase “an invisible hand” is a metaphor for unseen market influences (A), still widely used in economics. It is a cousin to the maxim, “see what the market will bear,” addressing buyers’ product reactions. Proponents would have you believe that seeing these forces is impossible.

Sometimes, seeing what is invisible to the naked eye is as simple as flipping a switch. The Costa Concordia captain sailed into the Isola del Giglio (B). To prevent that disaster, all he had to do was turn on a computer that he had shut off and use its information.

Adam Smith had it all wrong.

If we’re using metaphors, using the “Visible Hand” to describe market workings is more fitting. As we see in (C), the S&P 500 formed an upper price limit on 2/20/23. It does that every day. In short, all buyers in all markets self-organize in ways we can describe and use.

To see how this works, watch the seminar recorded on Auguest, 29, 2023 further below: