‘Seventy-six trombones led the big parade
With a hundred and ten cornets close at hand.
They were followed by rows and rows of the finest virtuosos,
the cream of ev’ry famous band.
‘Seventy-six trombones caught the morning sun
With a hundred and ten cornets right behind
There were more than a thousand reeds springing up like weeds
There were horns of ev’ry shape and kind.
‘There were copper bottom tympani in horse platoons
Thundering, thundering all along the way.
Double bell euphoniums and big bassoons,
Each bassoon having it’s big, fat say!
‘There were fifty mounted cannon in the battery
Thundering, thundering louder than before
Clarinets of ev’ry size
And trumpeters who’d improvise
A full octave higher than the score!‘
– ‘Seventy-Six Trombones’, The Music Man
After telling readers how awful it was, now the mainstream press is back to neutral on gold. Barron’s recently ran an article titled ‘Gold Regains Its Glitter’.
Markets make opinions. Gold is up about 17% from its June low. Opinions on it are becoming more favourable.
But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The central banks of the major developed economies are engaged in massive debt monetization (aka ‘QE’).
If they all start to taper their bond buying, they risk resurrecting the calamity they’re trying to avoid – a deflationary depression (at least in their minds). So, they’ve got to keep going. The markets…and the economy…depend on it.
You wanna see something really glitter? Just wait!
You’ll be pleased to hear that our 93-year-old mother is holding up well. We weren’t sure she should make the trip to France with us in the summer. She seemed so frail.
But she wanted to go, so we made it our goal to get her there and back without mishap. This we accomplished (with a sigh of relief) when we wheeled her into the Dulles International Airport arrivals area a couple of weeks ago.
Our mother is a delight. She has slowed down in the last few years. Her thoughts and conversation are slower than before. She walks as though she were not going anywhere.
But her mind is clear. She does crossword puzzles in French – a language she doesn’t speak – to keep her brain sharp. But she’s becoming eccentric. When she is alone in the house, she puts on The Music Man. She watches the movie over and over.
We’re sure you know the story, dear reader. A conman comes to a small town in Iowa. He makes his money by convincing the yokels they need a marching band…and then selling them the instruments and the uniforms.
This seems like such an innocent, respectable flimflam…and so hard to pull off…you can’t help but feel sympathy for Robert Preston in the male lead.
He starts by convincing the citizens of River City that their town is bound for Hell, thanks to falling moral standards. Specifically, young people have begun hanging out at the pool hall…and using hip slang such as ‘swell’ and ‘so’s your old man’.
What can be done to counter this dark, satanic evil? Well, the town needs something uplifting…something that makes people proud of their town and of themselves – a marching band!
The plan was working well. He had his orders. He had his money. The uniforms were arriving from Des Moines. It was time to skedaddle. But something happened. He succeeded too well.
The people of River City had bought into the dream of a marching band. They had become excited by it…more confident in themselves and their future. Yes, dear reader, the music man seemed to be performing a miracle – like making the lame dance like Fred Astaire and the dumb sing like Pavarotti.
But the biggest miracle happened not to the citizens of River City, but to the music man himself. The local spinster librarian came to believe…not just in brass and drums…but in him.
And for the first time in his life, he saw himself as something different…something better, a poor sinner who had been redeemed by dreams and love.
Grace, beauty, love and truth – even in Iowa.
That must be what our mother likes so much about the movie.
for The Markets and Money Australia
From the Archives…
Is a 50% Market Decline Possible?
30-08-2013 – Greg Canavan
Why The 30/20 Tax Rule May Rise Again
29-08-2013 – Vern Gowdie
The Investment Industry: Confusion, Conflicts and Cash
28-08-2013 – Vern Gowdie
The Federal Reserve’s Crucial Next Step
27-08-2013 – Greg Canavan
Superannuation Overtakes Bank Deposits
26-08-2013 – Greg Canavan