Don't Quit The Night Job

Thomas Bass, visiting professor at Hamilton College, reviews Dumb Money: Adventures of a Day Trader by Joey Anuff and Gary Wolf. Day trading, which is stock speculating by mouse click, sits at the intersection of two of today's red-hot obsessions--the Internet and gambling. Stoking the craze is the stock market bubble and the promise of "disintermediation." This is a fancy way of saying, "Death to the middleman!" Brokers, market makers and markets themselves are headed for the ash heap of history. They are being replaced by Leibnizian monads, autarkic individuals wired together into one huge global electronic market open for betting 24 hours a day... Day trading is a sucker's game, as people learned in the summer of 1999, when Mark O. Barton opened fire in two Atlanta day-trading shops, killing nine people and injuring 12 others... Of all the deadly sins currently tempting us, envy is topping the charts... But as the hero of "Dumb Money" makes clear, day trading itself is hard work.
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