Magic, from Jim Sogi

January 27, 2009 |

 There are typically three stages of a magic trick. First, the pledge is something that appears ordinary but is not. The magician uses distraction, misdirection, deceit and illusion. The turn is where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Then the prestige is the effect of the illusion producing a surprise and amazement.

The market, (and our government perhaps) is involved in an intricate magic trick involving the markets at the present time. What started as an ordinary dip turned into an extraordinary global crisis. Misdirection, deceit and illusion abound as evidenced by bailout funds going to fund massive bonuses and lavish office redecoration, buyouts and private airplanes. Apparent failures blamed on the markets but rigged to hide huge inefficiencies. Showing huge misdirections such as Madoff distracts attention like the pretty magician's assistant. The market itself makes horrifying drops or glorious rallies like this Monday morning only to fall back to break even territory.

The trick here as part of the audience is to figure out the illusion that is going on. Things are not as bad as the pledge and turn are showing them to be. Many interests will profit from painting a bleak picture to the public audience. The government needs financial panic to increase its scope. Before people feared terrorists. Now the government is painting fear of economics to increase government power. Big inefficient, bloated, top heavy companies need to create the illusion of imminent collapse to receive billions. Big investors need to create fear to shake out the last holder to be able to buy the lowest prices in decades before and hence. More than entertainment is at stake. We are coming near the end of the turn. Out of the hat will come a wonderful and breathtaking recovery leaving all amazed.

Rod Fitzsimmons Frey adds:

An interesting aspect of a successful magic trick is that it requires the complicity of the audience. Viewers, for their own reasons, want to be deceived and assist the magician in accomplishing that goal.

The boy in the front who yells "I know how you did that!" is not appreciated by the other audience members.





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