Hemingway, Draghi, Fed and other things that make you go hmmmm
Legend tells of one such lunch at which Heming- way was present along with several writers of the day during which a discussion on the skill of concise story-writing evolved to the point that a wager was made. Hemingway bet $10 of his own against each $10 stake of his companions that he could write a six-word-long short story. six words that would contain a beginning, a middle and an end. the wager was duly accepted by all and one of the more junior members dispatched to fetch drinks for the bon vivants gathered at the Round table. Hemingway took a napkin and scribbled six words upon it which he then presented to the group. It read simply:
“For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”
Wager won. Brilliantly.
I was reminded of this tale a few days ago as I listened to the words of Mario Draghi and the immense amount of speculation surrounding his incendiary words last week at a nondescript event in London. Draghi was making unpre- pared remarks—which is always dangerous in a position such as his—and yet markets, bereft of optimism, ripped the words from his lips and clutched them feverishly to their collective bo- som in the hope that this, finally, was the water- shed Europe had been waiting for.
This week saw statements released by both the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee and the ECB and, as is the norm when these pro- nouncements are made, every word is scruti- nized for the tiniest clue as to future action.
One can’t help but wish for Hemingway-like brevity from these clowns, but such a flight of fancy is akin to great Britain’s chances of top- ping the medals table at the London 2012 Olym- pics; a beautiful dream, but one that will never, ever, EVER come true.
Before we get to the nitty gritty (such as it was) of this week’s events, however, a little expansion on my thoughts in the last things that Make You go Hmmm….. about Draghi’s comments in Lon- don late last week.
Full must read Hmmm 05 Aug 2012a