Friday, October 3, 2008

cause and effect: greed vs. feng shui

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

~ Captain Renault, Casablanca (1942)

Last night both vice presidential candidates cited greed as the cause of the current financial crisis. Earlier this week presidential candidate Obama also used greed to explain the crisis. However, I think candidate McCain was the first to use the G-word to help us all understand what was behind the mess.

I'm shocked, shocked to find that there is greed on Wall Street!

When did this start? In the late 18th Century? That is when traders and speculators met informally to trade under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street. In 1792 these traders formalized the market with the Buttonwood Agreement, which is the origin of the New York Stock Exchange.

However, south Manhattan has been home to greed even longer. The first recorded instance of financial fraud there occurred in 1626. That is when the Dutch bought the island Manhattan from the Canarsies for beads and trinkets worth $24. Problem: the Canarsies lived in Brooklyn. The Indians who lived on Manhattan were the Weckquaesgeeks. No wonder the Dutch were able to buy it so cheap!

What is new or different about greed in financial markets? How does greed explain what is different that brought about this financial crisis?

Greed is a constant. A constant can't explain a change.

I have a far, far, better explanation: feng shui.

When the Towers came down on 9-11, this drastically rearranged the physical layout of the south end of Manhattan (i.e., Wall Street). Work on rehabilitating the area has been quite slow. The feng shui changed, the cosmic harmony changed, and soon after the chain of events that led to September 2008's crisis started to play out. What do you expect to happen when you mess with the feng shui?

I didn't say this was a great explanation or even a good one. But it is far superior to greed as an explanation.

Be blessed!

1 comment:

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