Category Archives: rumor

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Antidote to Rumors and Gossip: Turning Enemies into Friends and Allies

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The best way to minimize rumors and gossip in your life is to turn your enemies into friends and allies. Take a look at this testimony of a person who turned his enemy into a friend:

“Early in my career, I was once figuratively stabbed in the back by a colleague, which nearly led to me being fired…Rather than waste time and energy by dragging around a bag of resentments, I worked on my negative attitude…Whenever we ran into each other, I would smile and say “Hello, how are you?” I was met with a scowl or ignored. This continued for three months, but I was determined not to let the person ruin my day. I no longer wanted to give away my power. Then, suddenly, my adversary had a change in attitude, and became a trusted associate.”

Try active non-violence and apply the biblical teaching of loving your enemies. It is not a sign of weakness and cowardice of trying to win the hearts of your gossipers and rumor mongers. If you believe in something supernatural and have a solid philosophy in life, loving your enemies is a sign of courage and ultimate wisdom. After all, we are only pilgrims of this earth. Let us condemn and sue those who spread unjust and malicious acts of rumors and gossip. Let us condemn the acts but forgive the person as every individual can also be a victim of his/her past and social environment.

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Financial Markets as Prone to Rumors

financial markets

Rumors can be a means of social control to help some individuals, a group, an organization or an institution to achieve a certain objective.  In this case, a rumor can be an instrument of various groups, business organizations, political parties and other institutions to fight in order to achieve the interests. Thus, rumor has an instrumental purpose. It can become an effective means of control of social groups and social behavior as well as a means of support to a group’s identity and stability (Valdas, 2009). They also give a sense of control for traders in unpredictable financial markets.

“It’s really just a combination of illiquidity, the usual rumors about some firm on the verge of collapse, and the holiday,” a trader at a Western securities company in Tokyo said. The rumors of hedge- fund trouble are “nothing that I can substantiate, just smoke and mirrors, but it sends people running for cover where they can. The market’s extremely illiquid and subject to wild swings on the thinnest of rumors (Arnold, 2008).”

“Rumors can be viewed as a substitute for news.  When there is a lack of news in financial markets, future projections are created to fill in gaps of information.  When these projections are communicated within the investing community, a rumor is born.  This is the classic way in which rumors are created.  (Schindler, 2007). For example, if a CEO says that their company is interested in merging with another, but does not designate with whom, rumors may develop.  These substitutes for news will evolve and spread throughout the market if the information they provide is stimulating and of major importance.  According to Schindler (2007), there are two ways in which rumors are analyzed by behavioral finance.  One is at the individual level in which the procedure is taken to make an investment decision is analyzed.  The other is the aggregate or market level which focuses on how irrational behaviors by investors lead to disproving the Efficient Market Hypothesis” (Karasidis, p.5).

market

Schindler (2007,) explained why financial markets are susceptible to rumors. All actions on the trading floors are based on news. Getting information is crucial in gaining profit for traders in financial markets. In the absence of real information about the market, traders often grab any improvised news or rumors to guide their trading decisions. Since time is of the essence and traders are always in pressure to make swift financial decisions, verifying the truthfulness of financial rumors proved to be difficult. Thus, traders tend to take rumors as news. Owing to the lack of time, their only concern is the reliability of the source of rumors and not for their content. Since they are under pressure to trade to earn a profit, traders oftentimes grab rumors as news. If he doesn’t trade, he loses money if the rumors turn out to be true (Schindler, 2005, 19).

A study by Werner and Murray (2004) confirmed the influence of rumors in the market. It showed that a positive rumor usually leads to a positive return on the following trading day, while a negative message leads to a negative return on the following trading day. Another study by Kiymaz (2001), examining good and bad rumors, also showed that  good rumors on the market generate abnormal returns beginning four days before their publication, while the effect of negative rumors begins only after publication. Wysocki (1999) also found increasing returns and trade values the day following the rumor, especially when it is published at night while markets are closed.

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