Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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2/13/2005
In Honor of Playwright Arthur Miller, by Kim Zussman

Miller's signature "Death of a Salesman": pastel tones transcending tribulations of a salesman's charm as gambit. Willie Loman's life is meted out in mediocre aliquots of debt service. In death he is rich with life insurance bequeathed to his suffering clan; he lived poor to die rich.

Here in the west coast capital of culture, the bumper sticker says, "I'm spending my children's inheritance" (BMW required).

Sybarism and conspicuous consumption versus the Suze Orman convent of retirement and tuition. Really? You don't care to be rich? We gonna scrimp and save and invest so those little ones can be even more demotivated and inured to the meaning of money and learn the word "outsourcing."

In honor of the young ones: at what targets this week shall we aim our arrows of risk? Do we explain to adult children that investing is continuous redeployment of assets into the center of maximum perceived risk, with payoff either by luck or faintly better than luck with stats the crowd doesn't see?

One of Miller's ironies is Willie's ne'er-do-well son Biff as guilty retribution for dad's marital indiscretions. This, when in fact Biff was, by definition, a Galtonian failure devoid of liberal blame diversifications. Besides, who can fault a lonely man of the road? Yet again, life bigger than art: with Jewish intellectual Miller's moribund psych rehab of the mother of all blonde bombshells (OK, well, at least she did convert), we see the seer is a hack.

Then again there was the sack. OK, OK -- take it back.

It was only ever about risk, human or otherwise.