Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yeats and the Stock Market

It's not too often I see someone adeptly combine my two loves--the stock market and poetry--so I had to share James Surowiecki's article with you:


Mr. Surowiecki's topic is the market's recent volatility: "[I]n the long run volatility is a very bad thing, because it makes ordinary investors less inclined to trust markets." His best line, about investor uncertainty, is at the very end:

[F]or now we’re stuck in a Yeatsian market: the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Let’s hope the center can hold.

If you're still not agog at Mr. Surowiecki's reference, the first part of Yeats' Second Coming is below:

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Yeats and the stock market--a herd of passionate intensity. That about sums it up, doesn't it?

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