photo credit: Tristram Kenton, The Guardian
NB I wrote this two weeks ago pre-vacation. Which I clearly needed.
Bolstering my previous observation about the effects of the current crisis on the prose of financial journalists, I give you this. Todd Harrison goes all Ancient Mariner, leading off a piece of analysis this morning on marketwatch.com this morning by quoting from Bob Dylan: “Outside in the cold distance, a wildcat did growl/Two riders were approaching and the wind began to howl.”
Seriously, this is so weird. I sit here 16 floors above Wall Street and read all this stuff in the morning, and then I go out for lunch and am shocked not to see lionesses whelphing on the corner of Broad Street, and comets fizzing out in the East River. What the heck is going on?
The Harrison piece’s first sentence is so elegantly constructed that I want to quote it here as well:
It’s easy to finger the bears as a cabal of pessimistic pundits who root against the world but following the worst decade in financial market history, they’ve earned the benefit of their own market doubt.
I think part of what pleases me about this has to do with the present furnishings of my brain. I spent the weekend a) reading James Howard Kunstler, b) reading about the downgrade, and c) watching 15 hours of Shakespeare. The last of the five plays, on Sunday night, was Winter’s Tale, and reading this, I just can’t help but picture all the doomers of various stripes– Peak Oil people and Peak Debt people and writers of gloomy articles about the Fed– as a pack of actual bears, like the one that eats Antigonus. Cabalistic bears, apparently. Which is appropriate to the way the RSC played it: it was a sort of big Julie Taymor-style vaguely bear-shaped puppet operated by people dressed in black. The puppet was made out of books.