A Banker on the Bonfire

Blow ye winds…crack ye thunder…

We got back to Baltimore in time for the ‘Big Wash’. A major storm has come ashore. Skies were grey yesterday. Winds picked up. People went out to stock up on the essentials – water, drugs, and alcohol. We were advised to clean out our gutters and get ready for rain – lots of it.

All was well… until Sunday night, when the newscasters became hysterical. It was as if Martians had invaded. Public relief agencies rushed to the defence! A Coast Guard spokesman appeared on TV… the police… the fire department… the White House, too.

The Washington subway system closed down even before it started to rain. New York and Philadelphia too. Barack Obama declared huge areas of the US disaster areas… so they could draw on other peoples’ money to cover their own misfortunes.

Everyone seemed to want to get into the act. And everyone was supposed to get into the act. You were either supposed to lead or follow. Get in line. Follow orders. Don’t laugh at public officials; they’re here to help.

But after a couple glasses of wine, the whole spectacle was more fun.

We went to a Halloween party in northern Virginia. We didn’t have much time to get together a costume, so we just put on a beret and a scarf and let our daughter draw on a pencil mustache.

What were we supposed to be? A sleazy Frenchman? A movie director from the ’40s? Errol Flynn? No one seemed to know; we didn’t know either.

There were some amazing disguises. One man came as a robot. Another was dressed in a suit and painted from head to toe in metallic grey… great ladies… and wicked witches of the west… were in abundance. There was a group of men dressed as stink bugs…

There were about 500 people out in the field when I got there. A friend had constructed a miniature Stonehenge in Rappahannock County, Virginia. A rogue theatre group was putting on a performance in the middle of the standing stones.

They had large masks and strange, elaborate costumes…and a band of exotic instruments accompanied them, including one man with an Australian aborigine horn. The play told the story of the modern world and the trouble it is in.

The lead characters were the Three Fates… who confronted big business, genetically modified seeds, corrupt politicians, Wall Street, global warming and so forth. It was a mixture of 10% wit, 10% wisdom and 80% nonsense…but what the heck.

And then the FATES gathered all the good people… and all the animals… in a great ark. They set sail for a better world… leaving the bad people to their own fates.

When the play was over, there was music and dancing, of sorts, among the great standing stones. A bonfire was lit. On it were effigies of Richard Perle (a neo-con) and Jamie Dimon (a bankster). The fire burned hot. The crowd stepped back.

A ‘witch’, whom we had met a year ago, gave a long discourse. Very funny. She read the stars. She talked of Mercury ascendant… and of Venus retiring… and how the Great Trickster probably has some improbable future in store for us.

‘Want to know who will win the election?’ she asked. ‘The stars can tell you…’

Maybe they can. But they didn’t. Not on Saturday night. They’ll wait until election night to speak.


Bill Bonner
for Markets and Money

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The Lost Generation in the US Economy
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Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail Markets and Money.

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“An Australian aborigine horn”????


I think you mean didgeridoo!!!

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