Updated: Mar 6
If Gaga sells her jacket, people will pay an extraordinary price to buy it, even if it is as plain as it can be. The price has little to do with its intrinsic value and everything to do with its perceived value. Heck I may buy it just to sell it again. Her followers would want it.
Had Gaga been a nobody, the jacket’s perceived value would have been close to 0. This is the nature of the stock market. Equity, in any company, has a very low intrinsic value. If you carry a million-dollar stock portfolio to an island, you won’t even be able to feed yourself. You can produce nothing with stock certificates.
People earn in the stock market only because others (society) perceive value in stocks. Stocks perceived as highly valuable attract investors, which raises their perceived value even more, which feeds back into the loop. Once the perceived value is high enough, you can cash out the difference. Profit is not made by producing goods of value but by betting on stocks that are about to have high perceived value. Or you can purchase a stock, hype it up in the media, and cash out. Stocks make me think of fiat money. They are perceived as valuable only because others think they are.
The stock market is glamorized in the media. Governments prop them up and bail them out. Both artificially increase the perceived value of stocks. Then, money-minded people pour money into the market, inflating the bubble even more, which only attracts more money-minded people. As a result, stocks have become a major investment category even though they have little to no intrinsic value. People don't have a choice anyway. If they keep their earnings, they lose. If they spend it, they lose. The savings rate is unbearably low, which leaves out only one option -- the stock market. Money is effectively getting funned into the corporatocracy.
If people spend, cash flows to corporates. If they don't spend and invest, cash flows to corporates. No matter what, cash flows to the corporatocracy. As a result, corporatocracy has become immensely strong. They have so much that they are building mega-factories when so many don't even have a roof over their head. Just like governments like to control people with paper money, corporates have done it with stock certificates. And they have done it better than governments.
Update on Jan 28, 2021-
Here is an example of how fake the stock market is -