Wouldn't it be way too obvious if the stock market just sold off as soon as the election was over? We'll see. I'm not buying or covering yet, but I'd be cautious with new short sales. On the bear side, the US banks (C, BAC) finally broke their uptrend lines.
"My recent adventures have made me quite the philosopher, especially at night, when I hear
naught but the stream grinding boulders into pebbles through an unhurried eternity My
thoughts flow thus. Scholars discern motions in history & formulate these motions into rules
that govern the rises & falls of civilizations. My belief runs contrary, however. To wit: history
admits no rules; only outcomes.
What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts.
What precipitates acts? Belief.
Belief is both prize & battlefield, within the mind & in the mind’s mirror, the world. If we
believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation & bestiality,
such a humanity is surely brought into being, & history’s Horroxes, Boer-haaves & Gooses
shall prevail. You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this
world, provided our luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the
dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the “natural” (oh,
weaselly word!) order of things?
Why? Because of this:—one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the
Devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness
uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.
Is this the doom written within our nature?
If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can
share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders
must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans
shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds
to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a
myopic president’s pen or a vainglorious general’s sword.
A life spent shaping a world I want Jackson to inherit, not one I fear Jackson shall inherit, this
strikes me as a life worth the living. Upon my return to San Francisco, I shall pledge myself to
the Abolitionist cause, because I owe my life to a self-freed slave & because I must begin
I hear my father-in-law’s response: “Oho, fine, Whiggish sentiments, Adam. But don’t tell me
about justice! Ride to Tennessee on an ass & convince the rednecks that they are merely whitewashed
negroes & their negroes are black-washed Whites! Sail to the Old World, tell ’em their
imperial slaves’ rights are as inalienable as the Queen of Belgium’s! Oh, you’ll grow hoarse,
poor & gray in caucuses! You’ll be spat on, shot at, lynched, pacified with medals, spurned by
backwoodsmen! Crucified! Naïve, dreaming Adam. He who would do battle with the manyheaded
hydra of human nature must pay a world of pain & his family must pay it along with
him! & only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no
more than one drop in a limitless ocean!” Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?
* Here my father’s handwriting slips into spasmodic illegibility. —J.E."
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas. I recommend this book.