“A stockbroker”

A stockbroker in one sense really is a very poetical figure. In one sense he is as poetical as Shakespeare, and his ideal poet, since he does give to airy nothing a local habitation and a name. He does deal to a great extent in what economists (in their poetical way) describe as imaginaries.  When he exchanges two thousand Patagonian Pumpkins for one thousand shares in Alaskan Whale Blubber, he does not demand the sensual satisfaction of eating the pumpkin or need to behold the whale with the gross eye of flesh. It is quite possible that there are no pumpkins; and if there is somewhere such a thing as a whale, it is very unlikely to obtrude itself upon the conversation in the Stock Exchange. Now what is the matter with the financial world is that it is a great deal too full of imagination, in the sense of fiction. And when we react against it, we naturally in the first place react into realism.

The Outline of Sanity (1926).

A stockbroker in one sense really is a very poetical figure.
In one sense he is as poetical as Shakespeare, and his ideal poet,
since he does give to airy nothing a local habitation and a name.
He does deal to a great extent in what economists (in their poetical way)
describe as imaginaries.  When he exchanges two thousand
Patagonian Pumpkins for one thousand shares in Alaskan Whale Blubber,
he does not demand the sensual satisfaction of eating the pumpkin
or need to behold the whale with the gross eye of flesh.
It is quite possible that there are no pumpkins; and if there
is somewhere such a thing as a whale, it is very unlikely
to obtrude itself upon the conversation in the Stock Exchange.
Now what is the matter with the financial world is that it is
a great deal too full of imagination, in the sense of fiction.
And when we react against it, we naturally in the first place
react into realism.
Published in: on July 29, 2009 at 6:47 am  Leave a Comment  

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