The stock market indices have been like riding a roller-coaster of late. First you’re up and then you’re down again. Actually, the markets have been so volatile that maybe a roller-coaster isn’t a sufficient analogy. How about riding a San Francisco cable car instead? There the rises and falls are much larger than you would find on any roller-coaster. Fortunately, after the last two trading sessions and a 700 point jump in the Dow, stocks are nearly back to their all-time highs again, of only a week ago. When the markets were going down, pundits blamed it on falling oil prices, but what really turned the markets around was the Fed stepping in and announcing that it will not be raising interest rates for at least several months. Hooray for Janet Yellen! OBTW Janet, where were you for the previous week or does it take the loss of a trillion dollars in equity value, just to get your attention?
Also only a week ago, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a deeply insightful scientific paper that correlated the number of Darwin Award winners between the two sexes. Apparently, almost 90% of these award winners are men. The Darwin Award is given to those individuals who through their own stupidity take themselves out of the gene pool. Usually these awards are presented posthumously. Apparently, the actions of several hundred individuals was considered statistically significant enough by the BMJ to drawn meaningful inferences on about 3.5 billion people, of whom I am one.
The BMJ is not alone in believing that men are either dangerous risk-takers or are just downright stupid. This week, in his somewhat tongue-in-cheek (I hope) Bloomberg View column, author Michael Lewis (Flash Boys) again postulated that men are both dangerous risk-takers and downright stupid. There is a trend here. He noted that most of Wall Street is male and Wall Street’s track record of late hasn’t been exactly stellar, so QED men are dangerous and stupid. He offered several corrective actions too. Men wanting to work on Wall Street should first undergo a sort of internship. They should first work in the real world. He offered several example vocations, “fracker, street performer or chief of marketing for a medical marijuana dispensary.” Fundamentally though, he thought that the men on Wall Street should be replaced by women, because they are both smarter and more risk averse than men.
All of these claims are purely sexism, plain and simple. Years and years of male sexism has engendered this sort of push back. Today, this rather bruised and downtrodden male of the species finds himself limping in for his last workday of the year. I’m looking forward to my long winter’s nap. I pray that I’m not awakened with such a clatter that I’m forced to spring from my bed to see what is the matter. Please, let this Santa Claus rally carry us into the New Year. Is this too much to ask, Ms. Yellen?
“There is no fuzz on that peach, because it is a nectarine.” – Anne