Wednesday, March 19, 2008

EDW: A broke broker

With the Financial World having ballsed things up more comprehensively than at any time since 1929 – what with having sold bales of debt to people who couldn't possibly repay it, using all manner of mathematical prestidigitation to disguise the fact so that the debt could be sold off, realising belatedly that they would never be able to get the money back, then realising that no one knew who owed what to whom because of this numerical trickery and then panicking as a result – schaudenfreude would be the most natural reaction, were it not for the fact that it affects us all.

(Then again, "us all" are the idiots who took on heaps of debt when it was offered, mainly to buy stuff, so I'm not too sympathetic in that regard either).

Leaving aside such minor matters as the utter recklesness of the people who play around with other people's futures knowing that if they really get it wrong, government will be forced to bail them out; the naked greed; the herd instinct and the fact that pay packets and bonuses allow one to measure the price at which financial workers have sold their souls, the most depressing aspect of the whole business is the fact that today's City boys (not sure what their Wall Street equivalents should be called) have not reacted to the latest market reversals with stoicism and sang froid.

Not that one would generally look to 1929 for lessons in how to respond to a financial meltdown – no one's thrown themselves off a skyscraper, after all. However, the style and grace with which the men in this picture have reacted to the course of events is an exception. Wall Street would have done well to follow their example at the time and so, more especially, would their successors (I'm thinking of the 1980s red braces era in particular).

It's unclear whether the especially sharp-looking cove with his foot on the sidebar of the car is the seller who has lost is all or some luckier (and maybe more astute) individual who is well-placed to benefit from the situation. That is as it should be. Regardless, his bearing and the cut of his cloth convey the impression of a true master of the universe far more than the showy vulgarity of the type who measures their worth in bonuses and hours spent in the office.



Blogger Glamourpuss said...

1. That's a terrific photograph.
2. I do like the word 'prestidigitation' - well done for finding an opportunity to use it.
3. City boys make me vomit.


3:18 pm  

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