Friday, August 21, 2020

The Final Solution: Pharaoh's Dream

In the bible Joseph is summoned to interpret Pharaoh's dream in which the fat and emaciated cows would symbolize 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine. Freud famously wrote The Interpretation of Dreams. The Egyptian leader was no doubt going to a Jewish therapist for help. Maimonides would famously go on to write the The Guide for the Perplexed. But when you think about it Joseph was not just the stereotypic Jewish therapist populating say a Woody Allen movie, but a prototypic financial analyst, a biblical Benjamin Graham, the economist whose The Intelligent Investor, with its theory of value investing was an important influence on Warren Buffett. In fact, he was providing the very kind of predictions that investors have always sought to know. You might say, in this case, it was a form of insider information since it resided in the Pharaoh's unconscious. If there's going to be a scarcity of oil or soybeans, you’re going to want to buy futures. In our current world, of course, there’s a disparity between the machinations of the stock market and the economy. How can one reconcile a spiking pandemic, high unemployment figures and racial unrest with rising prices on Wall Street? Is it not a singularity that deserves some degree of scrutiny when the financial markets are so completely out of the sync with the nature of life as it's being lived by a suffering nation?

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