Saturday, September 20, 2008
By request of a reader, a re-working of A.E. Houseman:
To a Trader Retiring Young
The year you made forty percent,
Investors thought you heaven-sent.
By leaps and bounds your assets grew,
To fifteen yards from under two.
Today, your trading floor is dim,
Stripped of furniture and trim.
No more, the telephone’s shrill cry
Or buying low and selling high.
Smart lad, to turn the other cheek
And hide as regulators seek,
A culprit for the tempest’s wind
And those that profited and sinned
By selling as the tide went out,
Revealing who was left with nowt.
No more, your selling of the banks
Neither the Brits’, nor else the Yanks’:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of long investors getting out.
The emperor’s new clothes can stand
Unmolested by your hand.
So fly to islands, seas, and sands
Knowing your track record stands,
A monument to bygone days
Before the market changed its ways.
And in some future market craze
We’ll shake our heads, recall the days
When shorting Icarus was done
By you, just ere he reached the sun.