Friday, December 21, 2007

Yes, Virginia

The next few days are devoted to the Holidays. May I wish you all the warmest and most joyful of times. Sudden Debt will likely return, as Mae West used to say, "in between the holidays".
But in the meantime...

The following epistolary communication was recently intercepted by our homemade Echelon system. The first letter was addressed to a Mr. Jack Bonus, Managing Director of Bonus Bonus and Bail, a reputable investment bank. His response follows, beautifully calligraphed upon heavy cream stock and engraved in copperplate with the firm's "BBB" logo.

Dear Mr. Director, I am 26 years old and some of my friends say there is no invisible hand. My boss says, "If you see it in your paycheck, it's so". Please tell me the truth, is there an invisible hand?

Virginia Smith


Dear Virginia,

Your little friends are wrong. They are affected by what they earn, instead of what they ought to yearn. Skeptics, liberals, socialists, Keynesians and terrorists, all. They want their little selves to be more than mere insects in the great marketplace of ours - to be given by it, instead of giving to it. They do not grasp the ultimate truth contained in such a boundless enterprise: wealth is created by the invisible hand.

Yes, Virginia, there is an invisible hand. It exists as certainly as malls and car dealerships and restaurants do, even if you may rarely afford to visit them. How dreary life would be for the rest of us if such commerce did not exist! It would be as dreary as not having Armani and Hermes and Bentley, no trinkets to make our lives more tolerable. We should have no enjoyment except for polyester and frozen fries, then! And imagine what yours and your friends' lives would be like if you could not dream of such gifts, too. How could you tolerate meatloaf and plonk if you could not peek through our windows to see us quaffing Cristal and munching venison? Why, the very thought would extinguish the light that fires your eternal hopes.

Not believe in the invisible hand! You might as well not believe in the stock market. You may lose your entire pension in some misbegotten investment made in your name by a fund manager in Florida, but what would that prove? Nobody sees the invisible hand, but that does not mean it does not exist. The most tangible things available to us are created by it, but did you ever see capital gains dancing in the Street? Of course not, because they dance in our accounts, unseen and unseeable by you and yours.

You try to take away a bone from a mongrel and see what today's economy is like for most, but there is a veil covering the workings of the invisible hand that not the strongest analyst could tear apart. Only greed of a higher order than known to most permits entrance past the veil, to grasp that which the hand has wrought.

No invisible hand! Thank Mammon! it lives and lives forever. A thousand points from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10.000 points from now, it will continue to bulge the purse of those that steer it.

Very truly yours,

Jack Bonus
Managing Director and Head
Secret Handshake Dept.


  1. H. Holiday greetings to you also. Many thanks for both your thougtful, and amusing, contributions. Looking forward to your return.

    Brian P

  2. "Bogus, Bonus and Bail" sounds even better ;)
    Have a great holiday!

  3. Hellasious,

    No PPT?? Hm... maybe you miss this article, about Japaneese mega-banks were "told" to subsidize the Super-SIV plans.

    This is a clear Public Raping from Paulson + Bush on foreign countries.

    " ... Sources told Reuters last week that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (, Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc had each been asked to pony up $5 billion, and to give an answer this week. "

    "... Executives at Japan's top three megabanks have meanwhile been wondering why they were asked to shoulder such a comparatively large part of the fund, ..."

    "What did America do when we had our non-performing loan problem? They just pushed us into the corner. European banks also ran away. Why should Japan now shoulder this burden?" said the megabank executive. 'But this is a decision made at a high political level and could end up defying logic.' "

  4. Let me echo all those already posted best wishes for the holiday season. You more than deserve it. Keep well and come back strong as ever in the New Year. Cicero’s Catiline Orations pale nearly into insignificance compared with yours upon the debaucheries of the financial institutions that would drag us all into ruin.

  5. Best Season's Greetings and wishes to you also hellasious from an avid! reader in Mexico City.

  6. Happy Holidays to you also Hallarious. Once again, thank you for your interesting writings and great sense of humor..still chuckle when I think about Ben's letter to Santa - great work.

    God Bless and Merry Christmas,


  7. I thought it was "Bubble, Bonus & Bail" and that the invisible hand was more of an invisible fist.

    Happy Festivus.

  8. Hellasious

    All the best for the holiday season. Methinks 2008 could be the year of 'I told you so Virginia'

    Thanks for a years worth of riveting posts


  9. great stuff. i look forward to reading your blog every evening. thanks for doing it.

  10. I want to express my warmest Holiday Greetings not only to you, Hellasious -- and to all the commenters here -- but to all those who merely lurk here.

  11. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Chaunakka, Happy Quanza, and Happy Festivus.

    Hellasious - please do keep up the good work in the New Year. You are a single voice of reason in a field of carnival barkers.

    Jason B

  12. God Bless us all...everyone!
    -Tiny Tim