Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Old School Fake News

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It’s a quiet Sunday morning, and since there’s really nothing going on, I’d like to share with you a fun read in the form of an excerpt from the one history book I ever wrote, Panic, Prosperity, and Progress. It just goes to show that “fake news” is not an invention of the modern age, particularly when it comes to the financial markets:

Just as the value of the Greyback behaved as a proxy for the South’s war prospects, the value of gold reflected the military success (or setbacks) for the Union. Although financial markets were quite primitive at the time, necessity being the mother of invention led to the creation of “gold rooms” where spirited bidding would take place. A contemporary wrote of one such room, evoking the intensity of the scene that isn’t far removed from a modern-day account of a commodity exchange: