VNSeeing Bye Bye Birdie and how Birdie is portrayed as a hard working salt of the earth person when he's looking for supper among the fans reminds one of the challenger [in the story] by Ring Lardner and of the diffidence with which various parties paint their woes and point their fingers at people who, like Mellon and Insull in the 1930s, while completely innocent and indeed exemplary, served to deflect attention from the self dealings of the accusers, the palliatives, red herrings, and Galtonesque dissemblers who always left their real cache in a high tree, while leaving a moite buried beneath the trampling feet of their oxen.

When will this orgy of absurdity cease where this or that analyst lowers the estimates for one company for one quarter and it brings an immediate 1 trillion dollar decline in wealth along with the 1% decline in the market. One sparrow does not make a spring nor does one analyst's ideas announced propitiously create a raison d'etre.

On 2009/10/21 the euro:dollar set a nice round of 1.50 while oil set a nice round of 80, copper crossed $3.00 and beans crossed $10 a bushel and Berkshire stood solid as a stone wall at exactly 100000. Like the defeated North at the beginning of the Civil War, the S&P tried to break 1100 getting within one point of it twice in the last week, only to thrown back to the Potomac on both occasions.





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5 Comments so far

  1. Jonathan on October 22, 2009 5:02 pm

    On the same day (!) as his downgrade we hear the sparrow offer a different perspective on TV.


    “I think Wells Fargo is proving itself to be a stand-out with these numbers,” Bove said. (2:20 on video)


  2. david on October 23, 2009 7:35 am

    The North never should have won the war, but like Vegas and Wall Street, they got too many drunk'n generals that grind you away, not to mention their size too big to fail……. and the wire today says that the English econo still in recessssion but their market up 1.4 % on news….go figure!

  3. vniederhoffer on October 23, 2009 11:20 am

    If only Stonewall had been there at Gettysburg. vic

  4. Come on Vic! on October 23, 2009 4:54 pm

    You have to be kidding, you really think some hack's downgrade is a reason for anything? It's a catalyst, a spark, and that's it — it could have been anything — a beige book, a leading indicator, a housing report, doesn't matter — when the conditions are right, a move will result. The actual news has nothing to do with it. Can't believe this has to be pointed out.

  5. douglas roberts dimick on October 29, 2009 11:04 pm

    If World a Stage, then Which Play the Thing?

    As the producer of Birdie for my high school drama club, thank you for the found remembrance. Analyze how 1958 — year of my birth — perhaps represents formation, continuation, even perpetuation of then our rules-based assumptions that serve collectively as a prelude to the coming of Vietnam along with all the social and economic change that therewith ensues.

    As a product of the world’s first film (a la book adapted to script) generation, I reference…

    • For economics, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_on_a_Hot_Tin_Roof_(film)) parallels the “wealth vs. will” theme which takes its own form in the outcomes of wars not declared.

    • For politics, The Big Country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Country) offers a glance to what shall come after Vietnam with the Regan Years.

    • For societal reformation, The Defiant Ones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Defiant_Ones) portends how the current administration both came to be as well as why it is (non)performing so in a contra-indicated accord with the film.

    Noteworthy also in contribution to related outcomes…
    • Launch of the USS Triton Sub (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Triton_(SSRN-586)) for her subsequently submerged circumnavigation of the earth.

    • Launch of the Vanguard 1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_1) for its solar power systems, geodetic contribution, and oldest satellite in orbit.

    Nobel Prizes —
    • Physics – Cherenkov radiation concerning c of relativity with electromagnetic radiation.
    • Chemistry – Frederick Sanger offering sequencing hypothesis that would lead to understanding DNA coding.

    Though more speculative, lacking proximate causation to future events, consider the following highlights as episodic continuations of those three domains (economics, politics, society)…
    • January 4 – Sputnik 1 (launched on October 4, 1957) falls to Earth from its orbit.
    • January 31 – The first successful American satellite, Explorer 1, is launched into orbit.
    • February 1 – Egypt and Syria unite to form the United Arab Republic.
    • February 17 – Pope Pius XII declares Saint Clare the patron saint of television.
    • March 8 – The USS Wisconsin is decommissioned, leaving the United States Navy without an active battleship for the first time since 1896 (it is recommissioned October 22, 1988).
    • March 24 – The U.S. Army inducts Elvis Presley, transforming The King Of Rock & Roll into U.S. private #53310761.
    • April – Unemployment in Detroit reaches 20%, marking the height of the Recession of 1958 in the United States.
    • The satellite Sputnik 2 disintegrates in space after several orbits.
    • May 12 – A formal North American Aerospace Defense Command agreement is signed between the United States and Canada.
    • The first International House of Pancakes (IHOP) opens in Toluca Lake, Calif.
    • July 14 – Iraqi Revolution: The Iraqi monarchy is overthrown by Arab nationalists, King Faisal II is murdered and Abdul Karim Qassim assumes power.
    • August 18 – Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel Lolita is published in the United States.
    • Chinese Civil War: The Second Taiwan Strait crisis begins with the People’s Liberation Army’s bombardment of Quemoy.
    • President Dwight D. Eisenhower of the USA signs the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, transferring all authority over aviation in the USA to the newly created Federal Aviation Agency (FAA, later renamed Federal Aviation Administration).
    • September 12 – Jack St. Clair Kilby invents the first integrated circuit.
    • NASA starts operations and replaces the NACA.
    • October 4 – BOAC uses the new De Havilland Comet jets, to become the first airline to fly jet passenger services across the Atlantic.
    • October 21 – The Life Peerages Act entitles women to sit in the House of Lords for the first time. Baroness Swanbourough, Lady Reading and Baroness Barbara Wooton are the first to take their seats.
    • December 1 –Adolfo López Mateos takes office as President of Mexico.
    • December 19 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower broadcasts a message from a Project SCORE satellite.
    • December 25 – Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker (the George Balanchine version) is shown on prime-time television in color for the first time, as an episode of the CBS anthology series Playhouse 90.
    • December 29 – Rebel troops under Che Guevara begin to invade Santa Clara, Cuba. Fulgencio Batista resigns two days later, on the night of the 31st.
    • December 31 – As the year draws to a close, tallies reveal that, for the first time, total passengers carried by air exceed total passengers carried by sea in transatlantic service.
    • During the International Geophysical Year, Earth’s magnetosphere is discovered.
    • Based on birth rates (per 1,000 population), the post-war baby boom ends in the United States as an 11-year decline in the birth rate begins (the longest on record in that country).
    • The last legal female genital cutting occurs in the United States.
    • Denatonium, the bitterest substance known, is discovered. It is used as an aversive agent in products such as bleach to reduce the risk of children drinking them.
    • Instant noodles go on sale for the first time.
    • Nikita Khrushchev orders Western allies to evacuate West Berlin within 6 months but backs down in the face of the allies’ unity.

    So V, “When will this orgy of absurdity cease[?]…”

    To answer, I would ask… When and where did it begin, exactly?



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