Economic disasters

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Chapter 4 endnote 60, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

You cannot overcome emotion through rational thinking, because the state of your body budget is the basis for every thought and perception you have, so interoception and affect are built into every moment. Even when you experience yourself as rational, your body budget and its links to affect are there, lurking beneath the surface.

It makes me wonder whether every economic disaster of the past several centuries was precipitated, in one form or another, by the anatomy of the human cortex. For example:

  • The Dutch Tulip Craze in the 1630s, when flower traders paid up to $10,000 for a single tulip bulb.
  • The 1929 U.S. stock crisis that led to the Great Depression.

And now, apparently, another economic bubble is brewing in Silicon Valley (apparently people cannot learn from the mistakes of the past).

Do all examples of “irrational exuberance” have their start in unchecked interoceptively-infused predictions that fly under the radar? Body-budgeting circuitry is important to every perception that you create and every action that you perform. Even when you are not aware of feeling affect, the neurons in your body-budgeting regions are firing away, doing their thing. Whatever else your brain is doing — thinking, feeling, perceiving, acting — it is also trying to keep your body budget in balance.