Eric Barthalon applies the neglected theory of psychological time and memory decay of Nobel Prize-winning ecomist Maurice Allais (1911-2010) to model investors' psychology in the present context of recurrent financial crises. Shaped by the behavior of the demand for money during episodes of hyperinflation, Allais's theory suggests ecomic agents perceive the flow of clocks' time and forget the past at a context-dependent pace: rapidly in the presence of persistent and accelerating inflation and slowly in the event of the opposite situation. Barthalon recasts Allais's work as a general theory of expectations under uncertainty, narrowing the gap between ecomic theory and investors' behavior.Barthalon extends Allais's theory to the field of financial instability, demonstrating its relevance to minal interest rates in a variety of empirical scenarios and the positive nlinear feedback that exists between asset price inflation and the demand for risky assets. Reviewing the works of the leading protagonists in the expectations controversy, Barthalon exposes the limitations of adaptive and rational expectations models and, by means of the perceived risk of loss, calls attention to the speculative bubbles that lacked the positive displacement discussed in Kindleberger's model of financial crises. He ultimately extrapolates Allaisian theory into a pragmatic approach to investor behavior and the natural instability of financial markets. He concludes with the policy implications for governments and regulators. Balanced and coherent, this book will be invaluable to researchers working in macrecomics, financial ecomics, behavioral finance, decision theory, and the history of ecomic thought.
Eric Barthalon is the global head of capital markets and tactical asset allocation at Allianz Investment Management in Munich, Germany. Throughout more than three decades of exposure to capital markets in global financial institutions (at Paribas and Allianz), in which he has focused constantly on asset management, Barthalon has sought to blend operational and research responsibilities, action with theoretical reflection. He received a Masters in Management from ESCP-Europe.