This nautical map of eastern Lake Superior shows how close the Edmund Fitzgerald was to the safety of Whitefish Bay in the lee of the north wind when it foundered. It really was only about fifteen miles from safer waters.
When the wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too
'Twas the witch of November come stealin.'
Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Stocks were in an edgy trade today, as they continue to digest their outsized gains from the last month. The SP futures rallied, almost non-stop, from 1860 to 2110, where they failed, at least for now, to set a higher high.
The big questions are twofold.
First, are stocks and bonds being set up for a serious correction after a fairly impressive run higher in paper asset prices? And secondly, can the real economy continue to hold a weak pulse of recovery in the face of a much stronger dollar and increasing interest rates, even while the rest of the global economy continues to falter?
I do not have the answer to this, obviously. And hardly anyone else does as well, especially those who would sell their judgement on it to you. They might feel they have a good grasp of it, but the question then is why are they not putting their own money on it, rather than getting paid to watch you play yours on their opinion?
As the question arose elsewhere about this cafe, my 'agenda' here is to share my thoughts on the markets in the hopes of getting back more knowledge, and also to subject my thoughts to the rigor of the printed word. It is easy and rather sloppy just to think these things without committing them to paper, and public exposure.
The impedance of expressing thoughts in words gives them more substance, and also has the nice effect of introducing you to other peoples' thoughts on similar subjects. Or just to find and converse with some very nice people who have the same interests. Yes, you run across some sour apples, but at the end of the day, you learn that they are just fighting with themselves, and are not yet ready to let it go, whatever it is that compels them to be miserable.
I do not wish to have power or excessive money. Although my wife would like that because she would give it all away. Seriously. My goal is to live a life 'hidden in God' in which I have 'enough' only because I need little, want less, and love more. That's it.
And I confess, and maybe I am just mostly talking out loud to chide myself as much as anything most of the time, that I feel a duty to remind all who believe as I do of the heart of the message of the Gospel, and not just the portions that are easy and convenient and flattering.
"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the money lenders doing that? And if you are kind only to your friends and family, what are you doing more than others? Do not even unbelievers do that? Be good, therefore, as your heavenly Father is good."If I have any wish in the world, it is never to never hear these words below spoken, to myself, to any of mine, and to any of my friends. To anyone at all, if possible, but that may not be a realistic expectation.
"Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not provide help to you? Then he shall answer saying: 'Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of the least of these, neither did you do it to me.'"And more than anything, I do not wish to see my Lord weep for those whom he would gather to himself, as a hen would for her chicks. What a heartbreak that must be for a loving father.
As Léon Bloy observed in La Femme Pauvre, 'that is the only real tragedy.'
Have a pleasant evening.