"Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in any truth that is taugh in life." — Friedrich Schiller.

What fairy tales have deeper meaning for markets than truths taught by others in texts, shows, and talking of books?

Phil McDonnell writes:

The Tortoise and the Hare is most profound story for traders of any in Aesop's Fables. The drift is there for all to ride. But if, like the Hare, we are knocked out of the game then we cannot enjoy the full benefit of the drift.

Dr. McDonnell is the author of Optimal Portfolio Modeling, Wiley, 2008

Mr. Albert adds:

Not exactly a fairy tale, but the mythological phoenix encompasses the necessary creative destruction, the natural end to what's working, and the ability to come fresh from the ashes.

Also, Pinocchio has volumes to say about deception and gullibility. It's worth re-reading. I was surprised at how often Pinocchio is conned before he finally learns his lesson.





Speak your mind

4 Comments so far

  1. douglas roberts dimick on November 24, 2009 11:59 pm

    Markets… Tales or Tails?

    Grazing, I came upon this catchy piece, Critical Shopper | Carrots Has Vitamin A. Needs a Martini (… only to realize that here is like how the markets so became.

    Fairy tales, I suspect, underlie the motivations of the critiqued, two socia-sister-girlie-lites to have conceived and acted upon their “chic boutique” inspirations, though paradoxically self-shadowed by venue-lagged claims dating back through the cultivation of Vertigo ( …

    “Not that Carrots isn’t nice. The elements are there: exposed bricks, driftwood, distressed leather club chairs. Large industrial gear-things are juxtaposed with worthless but attractive silver thermos liners under glass bells. ‘It just all looks so … bought, so designed,’ my painter friend Mark remarked as he stared bewildered at decorative vintage boccie balls.”

    Such is not the bedtime tale of “our” markets for yesterday?

    As with Hitchcock’s retired detective (played by Jimmy Stuart), there appears to be an acrophobia among even that relegated 25% (of stocks) who now appear to account for the upward moves post-crisis of a year ago. Then, like the subject-wife under surveillance (played by Kim Novak), many, to include Congress and the Administration, seem to be wandering about in a “trancelike state” with suicidal spending continued from the previous occupiers – only more so in disguise with cost-shifting from bullets to plowshares via well lobbied, corporate complexes of banking, tech, and utility a la flat-world infrastructure.

    Then there was this last week: a street-bought collage of pirated vids that includes the 1991 (Williams & Hoffman) Hook ( Although the origins are of a novel and play (, therein one may argue to be found a fairy tale.

    What of the tale?

    A thematic contribution to the notion that there is a “poignant juxtaposition” – as projected by the nytimes-cited two spenderites “without retail experience” – between our humanistic innocence (to a flaw) and the contrived vanities of those social, legal, and commercial constructs, which we must contend with each and every day of our adult lives. Such is that tension, when not a struggle to survive in life, that we retreat – more often than we care to admit – to a secreting of our childhood notions of adventure and desire (or romance).

    Thus, with or without daybreak regrets, we are only to wake from that ten-year trance, induced by monetarist fairy dust spread about by Tinker Bells and Tiger Lilies of the once corporate jetted ensemble of management, accountants, and lawyers – some elected, some not. Child-like green spans of open funded fields within shared depositories have been since harvested among investment and commercial bankers alike. Meanwhile, the hooks of regulatory oversight were kept at bay, remaining docked in ports of laissez faire recall. Thematic then is the neverlandish pirating that occurs under ship-shape banners of free-but-for-unfair trade… and so we arrive…

    What of the tail?

    Suits of private equity, who made off sporting LBO fashions with fraudulent filings, have since completed their rounds, exporting jobs and markets in wholesale-like lots to MNC palm-pressed alliances within a dictatorial state – a not-so-imaginary land where pirates rule and lost boys are re-educated and censored when not detained for their natural born days.

    What of the captain’s crew?

    One would think that all are ensconced and so accomplished to the tic-tock of a crooked crock in time. Two-partied geckoers, they only ever seek their share of any and all campaign spoils. By ivory tower cadence, the lucky are so retired with statutory combinations of contribution, fee, and entitlement, while those who remain unfulfilled, continue to think happy thoughts and redouble their efforts in stead course: Learning to Fly.


  2. Patrick Schotanus on November 25, 2009 7:38 am

    You already referred to him in your book: Fairy Tales, Myth and their Origin – Jung has explained it all.

  3. Craig Bowles on November 25, 2009 8:42 am
  4. SJC on November 28, 2009 11:22 am

    How about the tale about elephants told by LoBagola?


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