I have ‘known of’ Robert Shiller for a long while - maybe even before I moved to the UK - so that would be 25+ years. He writes about financial markets, and several times he has focused on housing. He has published several books. The one I read presents some of the core ideas, which later evolved into the Case-Shiller Index for USA house prices. The most cited USA index for residential housing. The guy is an economist at Yale, and he shared the 2013 Noble Prize in Economics for work on analyzing asset prices.
Telling a Story
In his most recent book, Shiller focuses on storytelling. Humans are wired for stories. Maybe it goes back to a time when books and other written information were uncommon. We told stories to each other to pass on information or to ‘educate’. Proving facts was a lot harder. And there was no Google to use for fact-checking.
For those who have been to a real estate investing seminar, you will notice how the skilled presenters share stories from the stage to motivate the crowd to take action. Done well, we might think of it as leadership. More commonly, the techniques, including the stories, are used to remove some money from your wallet by selling you a dream.
The day I wrote this article, there was an interview with Shiller in the Wall Street Journal. He referenced how Trump is a master at storytelling and how facts do not matter. If something is not consistent with how The Donald wants you to think, he will call the other information fake news.
Propaganda vs Inspiration?
By the time you read this, the UK election will have been decided. How much of the election campaign was propaganda vs. an alternative narrative? What is fact vs. what is a belief packaged to appear real?