mercredi 15 octobre 2008

Premature ejaculation

There are only two emotions spoken of when describing the stock market recently, "euphoria" and "panic". Prices shoot up in an orgy of buying and records are broken Monday. All is well thngs are workng. Next, record falls and despair takes hold. It contradicts the neoib theory that markets are rational. Rationality, at root, is characterised by a lack of emotion. The western philosophical ideal is that the mind controls desire. So one cannot describe the swings on Wall Street, in Paris, London and the far East as rational behaviour.

The pictures are wearily familiar to us. The lone stock broker looking desolately at his/her screen as columns of red numbers scroll by. The dealer, her hand in her hands looking blankly into the near distance as colleagues panic and shout with phones to both ears. Then, after the latest communiqué, interest rate decision or cash injection we get braying brokers shouting for joy, clenching thier fists punching the air and, pathetically of all, giving the high five. Take another look at this photo. The young(ish) buck, thinning hair brushed and gelled back (so much that one thinks this photo could come from the eighties) snapped in mid euphoric gesture clutches his electronic gadget like a trophy weapon, a significant object, a totem. His face is caught in a complex mixture of pride, pleasure and self-consciousness - he knows full well that he is being photographed - he has achieved, he has done the deal and his has won.
The older man whose face we don't see, but whose greying beard is just evident, holds his hand up in recognition and to join in with the younger dealer's relief and joy. His comportement, though, is more obscure. His right arm is raised and leans back slightly and he is calmer, his sleaves are not rolled up nor does he brandish any technological note book as an emblem of who he is.
The young pretender seeks confirmation from '201'. The young enthusiastic gun has shown his mettle, the young clerate has proved his enduring faith in the system and is blessed by a higher member of the economic clergy.

Meanwhile, outside the church the sky darkens and huge fists of swirling black cloud swallow up the blood red sunset.