In finance and investing, a “Black Swan” is a symbol for an unexpected event or factor that causes a sudden shock to markets. An unforeseen shift in political power, a war breaking out, or any number of troubling events could result in the market disruptions and dislocations that characterize a Black Swan.
Investors (as a cohort) have been known to succumb to superstition at times. In China last month, a seemingly innocuous shopping mall decoration aroused fears of tempting the dreaded Black Swan!
Bad Luck Black Swan
The Seasons Place shopping mall is located in Beijing’s financial district. It’s an upscale shopping center, to say the least.
For no particular reason or promotion, a decorative black swan (shown above) was added to the lobby of the mall on Monday, November 28th. The sculpture was huge and done in an avant garde style, surrounded by the red ropes one sees at nightclub VIP sections and other exclusive events.
However, it was apparently facing the China Securities Regulatory Commission headquarters building located across the aptly named Beijing Financial Street. Naturally, those who work in financial regulation are keen to the negative connotation of a Black Swan.
After complaints by workers leaving the securities regulations building, the swan was promptly removed from the building the same day. Employees covered the enormous bird in a sheet and escorted it off the premises.
Believe it or not, this same shopping mall has made a symbolic snafu of a bad financial omen with its animal-themed decorations before. Earlier this May, large sculptures of characters from the Boonie Bears cartoon appeared outside the mall. Again, officials from the regulatory authority saw a potential for bad vibes and had the display replaced with monkey sculptures before the end of the day. Bears are associated with declining “bear markets” and “bearish” investor pessimism.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.