The Paranoid Style in American Investing

“Every age has its peculiar folly; some scheme, project, or phantasy into which it plunges, spurred on either by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the mere force of imitation.

Failing in these, it has some madness, to which it is goaded by political or religious causes, or both combined.”

--“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” Charles Mackay

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

-- “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” Hunter Thompson

The year 2021 will be remembered as one in which markets tumbled down a rabbit hole and entered financial wonderland: A once-elite undertaking became more populist, tribal, anarchic and often downright bizarre.

Retail investors upstaged hedge funds, crypto squared up against fiat currencies and financial flows crushed fundamentals. Farewell stocks, hello “stonks”: Memes matter now.