1. There is probably not one person in the financial community who does not look upon the enhanced level of intertwining of the government and Wall Street as unprecedented and mind boggling. To gain perspective on such things as the pointing of guilty fingers at one party or the other, attempts to deflect attention by claiming that an innocent party should b e pilloried, or most flagrantly the holding out of the sorrows that would ensue if one were not given alms and handouts, I have turned to Aesop for guidance and happiness. In particular I find the story of the two beggars that wished to share in the good but not the bad, the stork and the lion whose reward was not be eaten, and the many fables about troikas where the blame was cast on an innocent animal to be.

One guesses that the wagoner firing, and the AIG bonus rage is closest to the Aesop fable the wolf and the lamb. The lamb took refuge in the temple. The wolf said, do come out because the priest is sure to sacrifice you on the alter. But the lamb said, " better to take the chances here than be eaten by you."

2. In reading The Aeneid one comes upon the beautiful passage: "He falls, unhappy, by a wound intended for another, looks up to the skies and dying remembers sweet Argos" with reference to a spear thrown at Aeneas by Mezentius that glanced off Aeneas's shield and hit Anther. How often has a political decree, an economic announcement, of a ephemeral nature or one designed for another purposes, perhaps to garner votes, or grease the wheels of commerce been glanced off and hit the trader with such results, and does he dream of sweet Argos in such situations.





Speak your mind

3 Comments so far

  1. Chris Monoki on March 29, 2009 10:10 pm

    As Milton Friedman once said, I’m a libertarian with a lower case “L”. The recent report by Politico, “GM CEO to Resign at Obama’s Behest” is no longer stunning. It is not a surprise. It has become the norm.

    I ask: just how are the markets to heal with such a heavy-handed and shifting framwork?

    Free market participants are among the most clever in the world, in my view. For the most part, they understand the value of innovation and will flood it with capital. They are willing to bear risk for even a perceived measure of value. But free marketers remain, today, with this flaw: they see policy makers as divine. I see them as flawed, naked of any individualistic principle, sacrificing any morsel of ideology for the sake of pragmatism and the call for for action, whether it be right or wrong, even if it results in ever-diminishing liberties. And that’s what I try to capitalize.

    Keep pressing,
    Chris Monoki

  2. Gangineni Dhananjhay on March 30, 2009 9:19 am

    Similar to Aesop’s fables in Indian Mythology Panchatantra tales are famous. In one such story the fox in the pretension of settling dispute between two animals fighting over food, it starts taking small bites finally leaving nothing to them. This reminds me of paying huge vig to the brokers concentrating and being entertained by the market movements. Ultimately the broker makes a big hole in the account

  3. douglas roberts dimick on April 1, 2009 9:39 pm

    Our Hero Cult

    From a grounding of literary criticism, one may reconsider the wolf and the lamb. Are the skies so apparent?

    For, alas, the gods are upon the merchant streets, not of or within the halls of moralities. Does not the shield be of law, whereas the spear is of but coins melted to target favors?

    The repeal of a brightline horizon, wherein if days were years, some fortnights five would still affirm our station beneath those of the blue blooded heavens, safe for our mortal depositories and away from the private vestments of supernaturally conceived schemes – coinages of men’s spurious minds.

    He so informs this is not a fable but an odyssey by his mere disbelief of what continues to pass in times so…

    “There are several who have suggested that FDR [i.e., Franklin Delano Roosevelt] was wrong to intervene back in the New Deal [era]. They are fighting battles that I thought were resolved a pretty long time ago,…”

    Such, Sir, is the truth of it… that we are of a time where fables have been told only to so find here exists the epic poem…

    Thus, turn to Homer…

    For these matters are not of moral lessons – men’s morality is but the same as it has always been… that of greed and fear, sanctity and corruption.

    It is a matter of contract.

    The Iliad teaches the ways of old, how agreement among men bound their ships to Troy. Not by her face but by her choice, his word became law, constricting all to a code, that of the right that must be defended by all. For this, they perish. That was the time of rule by the old order, by the contract.

    Yet one does not, as we know of the Odyssey. And with ushers a new age, not of contract but of will, the will of one. Not of animals so weak or foul, but being human with the reason to know deception, be it of the gods or mortals as we. This is the new order, that of the individual.

    We have but deceived ourselves, now finding statute and currency to be in breach, for between the two, such unnatural orders exists the chaos of our frailties, from within which we decease not to descend back into with time enough…

    I contritely confess to doing so countless times. dr


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