Saturday, September 1, 2007

That Old Style Religion

You sin. Then you sin some more. And then even more. A bit later you figure you better get some insurance and so you visit the priest. You confess and he prescribes some anodyne penance, like 30 Hail Marys and giving up chocolate fudge sundaes every other month - after which, he assures you, all will be forgiven and the Pearly Gates will remain open for your minimally sorry (as in con-trite) ass.

Lo and behold, the fullness of time soon arrives and yup, though you walk through the Valley of Death without fear of punishment because of said priest's soothing reassurances, you suddenly find yourself facing none other than Mr. Fire and Brimstone himself.

"Woa", you say, "there must be a mistake in the database. Father Ben told me all would be well and I even did an extra Our Father three nights in a row."

The Trickster smiles devilishly (how else would he smile?), as he heaves you towards the nearest fiery pit and says: "Your greatest sin was believing that you could get away with so much sinning with just a slap of the rosary".

"But, but", you manage to whimper as the infernal fire starts to singe your eyebrows, "I trusted the priest. He told me all was O.K., so why should I get the blame? Besides, if you can't trust them, then who can you trust?" The Devil pauses, looks you seriously in the eye and in a grave, yet sorrowful voice, tells you, "The Boss gave you free will, the right to make up your own mind - didn't he? Well, that freedom comes with a price - and consequences. Now move along, I see a financial engineer approaching and that section is already beyond capacity. I will have to stick him in with the rating agency guys and lately they're at each other's throats".

The above "parable" is meant to suggest what can happen if investors and speculators place too much faith in the abilities of the Fed and other branches of the government to resolve systemic financial risk with just (hot) air. If their Hail Mary measures do not work, then there will be hell to pay. Almost literally.

9 comments:

The Smart Investors said...

What an excellent post. gave me a laff and a giggle and something to yeah ai! about. Totally spot on you were.

SimplyTim said...

Amen, Brother Hellasious, amen!

Anonymous said...

Quite literally now... The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Gvt. are the economy now...

notsoclever said...

I was also thinking along the same lines after reading about the new acronym FHA secure.. Fools never realize their mistakes and make one after another.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I have been thinking. The greatest risk the capital markets face is overconfidence in the ability of politicians, central bankers, and bureaucrats to fix the mess created by vast amounts of speculation, leverage, risk and hubris over time.

What EVEN SMALL problems have politicians, central bankers and bureaucrats managed to fix recently?

Why do these mere mortals think their rhetoric can influence the vast swirls of liquidity ebbing and flowing through global markets, like the tides in the Bay of Fundy?

Anonymous said...

"It is easier for a Land Rover to go through the eye of a needle than for and Investment Banker to enter the kingdom of God."

- Mark 10::25

Econolicious

Hellasious said...

"It is easier for a Land Rover to go through the eye of a needle than for and Investment Banker to enter the kingdom of God."

- Mark 10::25

Econolicious

..............
The investment bankers I know are so cocksure of their superhuman abilities, they believe that since their Land Rovers can get thru the eye of a needle (i.e. negotiate the Long Island Expressway out to the Hamptons) they can crash them thru the Gates of The Kingdom of God - with them safely inside.

Anonymous said...

"(i.e. negotiate the Long Island Expressway out to the Hamptons)"

the Hamptons, is more like pulgatory...

However, in this environment, we could say it's Heaven... Just think one last anxiety free weekend with the trophy wife and the gifted children. Ahhhh.... Life is sweet.... ;-)

Econo

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