One day, you turned on the TV to watch the economic channel, and suddenly found that many animals were on the financial news. The slow gray rhino has become an economic event, the white and soft sheep has become an economic effect, and even the naive giant panda has become an economic term. Do you think you are delusional, do animals leave the familiar zoo one after another and become the protagonists of economics?
Don’t be surprised, welcome to the economics zoo! In the field of economics, people like to use animal images as metaphors to make generalizations. Abstract and difficult economic phenomena are turned into interesting and vivid metaphors. In this way, a unique zoo has gradually been built in economics.
Let’s take a tour of this special zoo together.
Corporate Venues: Unicorns and Gazelles
Open the gate of the Economics Zoo and enter the first venue, we will first see unicorns and gazelles. Economists let them live together because they both refer to some start-up in the financial field.
The unicorn is a fictional animal in western myths and legends. Not only does it resemble a white horse, it has spiral horns on its forehead and a pair of white wings. It can run and fly. It is a magical and rare animal. animal. The reason why it is brought into the economic zoo is to borrow the unique characteristics of unicorns to refer to start-ups with a valuation of more than US$1 billion in a short period of time. Companies with such a value-added speed are very rare, as rare as unicorns.
While gazelles often appear in “Animal World”, they are not as rare as unicorns, and they are widely distributed in the savannah of Africa. Gazelles have come all the way to the economics zoo because economists have discovered that they are very agile animals with long legs that are extremely good at running and jumping. “Gazelle Enterprises” vividly draws on the characteristics of gazelles, and specifically refers to those high-tech enterprises with good growth potential and leapfrog development trend.
Both unicorns and gazelles have special sports skills, which are metaphors for enterprises with great development potential and value in the economic field. At this time, we discovered that there is such a big economic connotation behind animals.
Event Venue: The Black Swan and the Gray Rhino
After saying goodbye to the magical unicorns and gazelles galloping across the grasslands, we understand why animals here frequently become the protagonists of financial news. At this time, the elegant black swan and the slow-walking gray rhino are already waiting for us in the second venue.
The black swan and the gray rhinoceros may seem unrelated in size and character, the black swan being refined and elegant, the gray rhinoceros clumsy and rough, but in the field of economics, they are perfect partners to complement each other. They are grouped together in the same venue because both animals are used to refer to possible events in economics.
In nature, white swans are common, but black swans are rare. Before the 17th century, Europeans believed that swans were all white. However, with the appearance of the first Australian black swan, people’s inherent concepts were shaken, and even greatly changed the perspective of Europeans on the world. Since then, black swans have often symbolized unpredictable major and rare events, both unexpected and menacing, changing everything that is routine.
The gray rhinoceros is a relatively common animal. They move slowly and walk slowly on the grassland. They look like gentle giants, so that people ignore the danger it may bring. In recent years, economists have discovered that there are many obvious and high-probability events in the field of finance and economics that are similar to “grey rhinoceros”, but they are often overlooked. Such “grey rhinoceros events” often cause serious consequences.
Inviting black swans and gray rhinos into the economics zoo is precisely to remind us that we should take preventive and countermeasures against similar events in the field of economics as soon as possible.
Effect Venue: Sheep and Ostrich
Walking into this venue, we feel the meaningful reminder of the economic zoo. In the distance, short lambs and tall ostriches seem to be welcoming us.
The reason why sheep and ostriches are divided into the same venue is because people have concluded two economic effects based on the behavioral characteristics of these two animal groups.
The cute lamb represents the classic “herd effect”. This effect is often used in economics to describe the herd mentality of economic individuals, that is, in a highly competitive industry, latecomers will continue to imitate every move of the leader in order to succeed, resulting in blind obedience and failure.
The “ostrich effect” is hidden in the tall ostrich. Zoologists have found that when in danger, ostriches will bury their heads in the sand or grass, thinking they are safe. In economics, this physiological behavior of the ostrich is extended to a psychology of escaping reality and stealing the bell. Therefore, in the economic zoo, any behavior that fails to face up to the real crisis and avoids the status quo will be dubbed the “ostrich effect”.
After visiting these three venues, we gradually fell in love with this philosophical and interesting zoo in economics. Looking back, spiders weaving webs hard, butterflies flapping their wings, crocodiles floating on water and other colorful economic animals are still waiting for us to explore.
Why build this “economic zoo”? This is because economists have found that there are many irrational and instinctive investment behaviors and psychology in economic activities and phenomena, which are very consistent with certain characteristics of animals. People learn wisdom from animals. By studying the complex behavior and physiological characteristics of animals, many economic concepts that are unfamiliar, abstract, and difficult to understand can be skillfully expressed. This is like using the animal world we are familiar with to explain the incomprehensible and unknown economic world, which will make economic concepts vivid, concrete and easy to understand.
There is no doubt that more and more animals will live in this “economic zoo” and become the inspiration of economists.