G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sixty Years of Pack Mentality........Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Beane recommend a certain stock

LANDON THOMAS Jr. has written an essay “Pack Mentality Among Hedge Funds Fuels Market Volatility” (NYT August 13, 2007).

“…These guys all know each other, and they all have the same strategies. They came from the same schools, and they get together for drinks after work, The strategies employed tend to be not only duplicable but broadly followed — the result being a packlike tendency that has helped increase market volatility and, for some hedge funds, has led to losses in the last month.”

After reading “Fooled by Randomness” by N N Taleb and "A Short History of Financial Euphoria" by John Kenneth Galbraith, nothing comes as a surprise in financial world.

Over last few weeks, so-called sub-prime crisis in USA is growing on the world like a creeping wine. In such times, we need to remember Galbraith’s words: “…And tragedy can be quietly enjoyed when, as is not true of war, nothing is being lost but money.”

I have always doubted wisdom, expertise and integrity of almost all ‘visible and audible’ experts in Indian financial world. Watching CNBC and NDTV Profit is loads of fun. They get you sit-down comedians through the working day.

Their anchors even have invented funny language to entertain us :” stocks have gone up/down for themselves……markets do what they want to do……”. Anthropomorphism at its worst!

They remind you of Michael Crichton s words:
“ A lot of people complain that television lacks focus. But that's the nature of the medium. Television's not about information at all. Information is active, engaging. Television is passive. Information is disinterested, objective. Television is emotional. It's entertainment. Whatever he says, however he acts, in truth Martin has absolutely no interest in you, or your company, or your airplanes. He's paid to exercise his one reliable talent: provoking people, getting them to make an emotional outburst, to lose their temper, to say something outrageous. He doesn't really want to know about airplanes. He wants a media moment. If you understand that, you can deal with him.”


Artist : Whitney Darrow,Jr. The New Yorker Sept 13, 1947