Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Wine Dark Sea

So which is it, Boys and Girls? Market meltdown, or liquidity freeze? Armageddon, or The Big Chill?

After today's nasty swoon, reflected in both the equity markets and the credit markets, I will venture a modest prediction that the financial and mainstream media will be ransacking their Financial Markets Metaphor Departments tonight for punchy phrases and blistering bon mots to describe the pile-up. Tomorrow's articles should be downright Homeric in tone.

I wish I could say that I care, but I do not have a dog in this fight. (To be more precise, I have so many dogs on so many sides of this fight that I do not care which one(s) have their throats ripped out.) Whether today's little disturbance—it didn't even trigger the circuit breakers, people, really—turns out to be another pause that refreshes, like this past February, or the start of a long and painful slide, Your Faithful Correspondent expects to land on his well-shod feet quite nicely. Sure, the M&A market will slow down a little—maybe even shut for a while—but all will turn out well. It takes more than a little nuclear war to kill all the cockroaches, and likewise it will take more than another Black Monday to wipe out the M&A bankers.

But for those of you who do care, I feel your pain. Accordingly, I will leave you with the following meditation, courtesy of a wise man who nonetheless never shorted the Nikkei or played yield arbitrage with CDOs and REMICs.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

— Robert Frost, "Fire and Ice"

Happy reading!

© 2007 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.