"The willing suspension of disbelief"
This term was put forth by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817 with the publication of Biographical Sketches of my Literary Life and Opinions.
"In this idea originated the plan of the 'Lyrical Ballads'; in which it was agreed, that my endeavors should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic, yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith."
Of course this term now applies to all arts including poetry, art and theater. Sadly, we have to suspend disbelief and all intelligence, too but it applies to movies as well. But, now the term applies to the stock market and all facets of investing. We have to suspend disbelief that regulators are really looking out for investors. The LIBOR scandal just underscores this notion. If indeed the Fed knew about this then why didn't everyone with a mortgage, stocks, or a 401K. Damn, every citizen understands the idea that if you see something say something. The bellyaching about the need for more funds rings insincere as these government agencies simply keep dropping the ball.
The biggest game of suspension of disbelief, however, is the tango between Wall Street and Ben Bernanke.
The market sank like a rock when Ben Bernanke made the common sense observation yesterday that there wasn't much room to lower rates anymore. Yes, once you get to zero, then there is no rate of return. The market swooned but then Bernanke came to the rescue with talk of other tactics and bragging about his tool box. Bang!!! The market reversed its losses and the higher it moved up the further back into the recesses of our minds went the notion the Fed is out of bullets or that more central bank shenanigans would actually be detrimental longer term.
Pantisocracy & and the Modern Opium Den
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