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Comment author: ChristianKl 20 June 2016 12:22:31PM 0 points [-]

I think it's mainly an issue of culture. When dancing Salsa for example alcohol means dancing worse and thus people don't drink as much.

Comment author: rpmcruz 29 June 2016 11:16:30AM 0 points [-]

Furthermore, the environment where you salsa dance is not as prone to social anxiety since everybody is there to dance. There is less anxiety at being rejected. And, as you start dancing or just hearing the beat, it releases some internal chemicals in your brain because you do feel more loose even without drugs.

Anyhow, where I have learned to dance, there were parties where people did drink. But you are probably right that people drank less in that environment.

Comment author: [deleted] 25 May 2016 02:42:32PM -1 points [-]

Prove it.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Wrong however unnamed
Comment author: rpmcruz 25 May 2016 04:27:08PM 1 point [-]

Prove what? That that interpretation is what "they" meant or that it is biologically accurate?

The parent says in his final paragraph that he does not know whether it is biologically accurate or not.

Comment author: Dagon 05 May 2016 03:37:06PM 5 points [-]

I suspect you and I have different voting standards. A post does not need to be stupid or unspeakable to downvote, merely uninteresting and unhelpful.

The underlying question (exit vs voice in ownership as compared to other kinds of membership) might be interesting, but the post doesn't bring that out very well.

And there's no way to go foward from this post. It doesn't say anything concrete enough to agree or disagree with, it doesn't ask narrow enough questions that people can help to suggest ways to behave or how to further the research and thought.

fundamentally, I downvoted because I didn't like it.

Comment author: rpmcruz 10 May 2016 09:08:33AM 0 points [-]

I am being drained out of karma in this thread because of all the downvotes by defending the poster... :)

But the underlying question about whether not-joining and buying from competitors is also interesting. We all know consumer boycotts work. What he is asking is whether that can be transported into the investment world.

As others replied, there are many more investors than customers, and besides it is a largely anonymous operation, so it is much more difficult to affect a company by making it easier for their competitors to raise capital. I still think it is interesting whether things like Pope calls for people not to invest in arms and oil has had any impact.

Comment author: HungryHobo 05 May 2016 01:14:19PM *  5 points [-]

only if they do so in total secrecy.

If you're an analyst in a big trading firm you know that ,say, an oil company exists and is currently valued at a certain level by the market taking into account the available information about it's business and profits.

Later that company is targeted by divestment activists. A big university is pressured by economically illiterate students into selling all it's stock in the oil company.

The analyst's note this and know that the company is probably being slightly undervalued as a result and buy up some stock.

There are actually Sin Funds that target stock of companies like tobacco, fossil fuel companies etc and invest in them on the basis that they're likely slightly undervalued due to other "moral" investors avoiding them.

Thus the only effect of divestment is to transfer a moderate amount of money from yourself to people who are slightly less ethical. It doesn't hurt the company at all.

Comment author: rpmcruz 10 May 2016 08:58:04AM *  -1 points [-]

That is a good point. The stock market is probably more competitive than whatever market the company is in, so, for every one moral investor, there are infinite more that are amoral.

Again, that is a good point, and I already had it in mind when I posted my reply. The person I was replying to did not articulate it correctly.

Still, I do not think the original question should be dismissed outright. The fact is that not even the stock market is perfectly competitive. There are not infinite players in either side. For instance, if you look at Islamic countries, you can find countries where close to 100% are religious https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country. I can imagine how a religious figure could possibly bankrupt a company by talking to banks alone and draining the company out of capital (without ever talking to customers). My point is that even in highly competitive markets maybe activists can have an influence. I find it very unlikely. I still think dismissing that question outright is anti-scientific.

Comment author: Lumifer 05 May 2016 06:36:07PM *  1 point [-]

buy stocks from one firm

You are very confused about how stock markets work.

You buy stock "from the firm" in two rather uncommon situations. The first is an IPO (Initial Public Offering) which is a once-in-a-lifetime event for a company. The second is what's called a "secondary offering" which exist but tend to be rare, in part because SEC makes it a big pain in the butt compliance-wise.

Normally when you buy stock in the stock market you buy it not from the firm, but from some other investor. The firm sees no money from that transaction and, generally speaking, doesn't care about the price at which it happens (yes, that's an approximation, but it's good enough for the level we're at here).

Comment author: rpmcruz 10 May 2016 08:50:39AM 0 points [-]

I know. But that discussion is largely irrelevant. Shareholders do care about the price of the stocks and dividends.

That is like saying that in my coffee shop I do not care about whether my customers enjoy their coffee. I already sold them the coffee afterall.

The point is that if you don't care about your shareholders and shootcrap your company, your competitors will find it much easier to raise capital. The original question is whether there are enough "activists" that can change the route of a company by selling their stocks or buying from expensive stock options from their companies.

Comment author: Lumifer 05 May 2016 02:51:16AM *  -1 points [-]

divestment will be considered a form of shareholder activism in this article.

That is silly. What, not owning stock of company XYZ makes me a shareholder activist? Oh boy, I'm an activist in SO MUCH of global equity...

divestment is appropriate as a last resort

That's called "We lost. RETREAT!"

Comment author: rpmcruz 05 May 2016 08:34:35AM -2 points [-]

"What, not owning stock of company XYZ makes me a shareholder activist?"

I don't think that is the point at all. If a lot of people buy stocks from one firm and refrain from buying from their competitors, they change the relative costs of raising capital and do benefit one firm instead of the other. It is like a lot of customers buying from one firm and not from others.

Comment author: time 05 May 2016 03:22:32AM 2 points [-]

The best evidence is that while firms frequently advertise to get people to buy their products, they almost never advertise to get people to buy their stock.

I've seen adds that I suspect were actually targeting potential investors. Granted this was followed by the company in question exploding spectacularly a few years later with the executives being charged with fraud.

Comment author: rpmcruz 05 May 2016 08:32:06AM *  0 points [-]

Selection bias. The firms where raising capital is the highest are the riskier firms. And the more expensive capital is to raise, the more it makes sense to invest in things like advertisement. You have established a link between advertising and how risky the investment is. But without proper research, you cannot say it is a all a scam or that it is unprofitable to invest in risky firms.

Comment author: James_Miller 05 May 2016 12:32:03AM *  12 points [-]

Very little published academic literature exists on the consequences of divestment.

This is because most people who study finance would put a very high probability on the consequences being zero. If my college refuses to buy from a firm it hurts that firm a little, but if it refuses to buy stock in a firm it does that firm zero harm. The best evidence is that while firms frequently advertise to get people to buy their products, they almost never advertise to get people to buy their stock. The value of a firm's stock is determined by what the big players in the market think are the long-term fundamentals of this stock.

Comment author: rpmcruz 05 May 2016 08:28:40AM *  0 points [-]

"If my college refuses to buy from a firm it hurts that firm a little, but if it refuses to buy stock in a firm it does that firm zero harm."

If a lot of people refrain from buying stocks from a given firm, don't they have to raise dividends or capital gains in order to attract capital? Those dividends or capital gains must be financed by cutting costs, raising prices or whatever. Either way, it does harm a firm when capital is not as cheap.

Comment author: rpmcruz 04 May 2016 12:16:41PM 2 points [-]

It is pretty exciting. :)

I only recently learned about the Brain Initiative (USA) and the Human Brain Project (European Union). As I understand it, both were started in 2013. First the Brain Initiative, and then the European Union responded with the Human Brain Project. Anyone knows what kind of developments have accrued from them so far?

Comment author: rpmcruz 28 April 2016 09:39:44AM 0 points [-]

Hi Christian, do you have a link to that facebook study and the ensuing controversy? I must have missed that study...

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