May you live in interesting times

How tumultuous the past week has been in the financial world.  Every day, folks at my office to discuss what company just made the news.  Storied investments firms where, in the past, either I wanted to join, or had turned job offers, are either gone, or are soon to be mere shadows of their former greatness.  Shocking, and yet these are the same firms who derided regulatory review by the government.  Greed is powerful.  Do you remember that Bush 1st term proposal to privatize Social Security?  In hindsight, thank goodness that idea died.  The brokerage firms would have been the only ones to benefit from that scheme.

[Short excerpt from a commentary by Chris Farrell, BusinessWeek]

In 1940, Fred Schwed Jr. famously captured the essence ….. with one of the most memorable Wall Street book titles ever: “Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?” It’s worth repeating the allegory that starts off his book:

Once in the dear dead days beyond recall, an out-of-town visitor was being shown the wonders of the New York financial district. When the party arrived at the Battery, one of his guides indicated some handsome ships riding at anchor.

He said, “Look, those are the bankers’ and brokers’ yachts.”

“Where are the customer yachts?” asked the naive visitor.

Indeed.  I’m still looking for my yacht.

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