Friday, January 08, 2010

Two Poems For Wall Street

Found posted on a lamppost on Wall Street


In America, first they bailed out the hedge funds,
But I didn’t speak up because I was not highly leveraged;
And then they bailed out the bankers,
But I didn’t ask for anything because I was not a banker;
And then they bailed out the insurers,
But again I did not speak up because I was not an insurer;
And then they bailed out the auto companies,
But I did not complain because I was not part of the Big Three;
And then they came to bail out me,
But by then there was nothing left to give.

Found on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 2008


Go placidly amid the fallen equities and waste,
and remember what growth you may have achieved before the crash.

As far as possible, having surrendered,
bear no ill will to any brokers.
Declare your capital losses quietly and clearly;
and do not listen to others,
even the gurus and financial advisors;
for they no longer have their portfolios.
Avoid loud and aggressive TV commentators;
they are vexatious to your personal worth.

If you compare your portfolio with others,
you may become sad or bitter,
for always there will be greater and better performers than yours.
Enjoy your remaining capital as well as your meager dividends.
Keep invested in your IRA, however humble;
it is a real albeit declining possession in the failing markets of today.

Exercise caution in high tech and real estate,
for the world is full of devious advisors.
But let not this blind you to what secure investments there are;
many persons strive for high yields
but be satisfied with low single-digit returns.
Be yourself. Especially do not invest offshore.
Neither be cynical about bonds,
for in the face of volatility and change
they are as dependable as the dawn.

Take kindly the three percent growth of the term deposit,
gracefully surrendering the double-digit losses of yesterday.
Nurture a cash position to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with thoughts of deflation.
Many fears are born of investor fatigue and deficits.

Beyond a strict financial plan,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the economy
no less than the bankers and the auto makers;
you have a duty to invest.
And whether or not it is profitable to you,
no doubt the markets are unfolding as they should.

Therefore, be at peace with Greenspan,
whatever you conceived Him to be.
And whatever your investment losses
in the noisy confusion of finance,
keep bonds in your portfolio.

With all its Madoffs, Lehman Brothers and AIGs;
it is still a beautiful market.
Be patient. Strive to be conservatively invested.

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