In a dark woodland I espied a bear Vicious, hirsute, with a low, evil brow. His stinking breath befouled the forest air; A roar, and animal spirits somehow Vanished, like ghosts dissipating in mist, Taking with them nearly half from the Dow. I knew not how I should hope to resist This great beast, when before me then appeared A genius, albeit one much dismissed, For espousing truths both exact and feared By men economical in wisdom. “No man, yet I act,” said him I revered, “To spare thee much needless pain have I come!” Then he raised a gleaming sword of pure gold Before which the terrible beast did succumb And turn away. Thus inspired I made bold To inquire of insights he might convey. “No, I shall not teach, instead shall I scold. Come, thou shalt witness how ends the soiree!” We found ourselves before a wide Abyss From which came moans and cries of great dismay, The regrets of men who’d been so remiss As to believe markets will always rise. “Speak, damned broker,” I said with a hiss, To a wretched shade with dark, haunted eyes, And naked but for his well-tattered suit. “All of the long-term charts showed we were wise.” He protested, with contrition acute. “Dollar-cost averaging, interest compound, We thought they’d invest risk free, absolute!” My Guide laughed, it was a cold, hollow sound Of scorn for innocence so misplaced. “That which goes up must finally come down, And asset inflation will be retraced. For growth cannot last indefinitely When debt is rising and money debased.” Behind us we left that sad misery, Weeping and wailing under the cliff’s edge, Descending down to the second degree. There we encountered the god of the pledge, Visa the Master of living and dead. Who sneered at my Guide: “From whence didst thou dredge This old fossil, academic unread By my countless servants, my serfs, my slaves? He shall not enter, but for thee, instead I’ll offer a card that actually saves Thee five percent even as thou doth spend!”
Temptation rushed o’er me, enticing waves, Cast by the fat goblin off’ring to lend Me all that I wanted, and more beside! “Stand fast, man, and do not think thou shalt bend!” So spoke my Guardian, that consummate Guide, Who, bare-handed, tore that false god in half! “His day is done, comest thou alongside. Seest the shades blown like wheat amidst chaff?” Throughout the depths blew a most fearsome wind Hurling poor souls around, all the riff-raff In mighty numbers, those fools who had sinned, Caught up in the feverish gluttony Of consumption, and now, too late, chagrined. They tumbled through clouds of fiat money, Faith rendered faithless in one mad moment, Then came a pair still in matrimony Bound. They shrieked and fought for they did resent The ties that held them linked close together In bitter rage and mutual dissent. The woman cried, clawing at her tether. Impoverished, angry, seeking divorce, And falling for the netherest nether They plunged to the depths like a Russian bourse. “New house, new clothes, new car financed with debt They married for better, but found the worst,” Said the Master without seeming upset. “So now, they can’t even afford to split!” Such countless horrors no one could forget, Happily did I that fell mirk acquit. But new torments I saw, new terrors. I found Myself standing in the midst of a pit, Where an icy rain came tumbling down Upon the unjust, and the unjust alone, For there the just simply did not abound. Suffering journalists wept to atone For lies and deceits practiced on the crowd. While above towered three heads overgrown From one horrid shape better disavowed, Kudlow and Cramer and Bartiromo. Three slavering heads drooled and barked aloud: “Buy with both hands, surely this is the low!” All the while snapping and snarfing up dirt. Souls sold for nothing, not even a show, No newspaperman had a single shirt As hatless, shoeless, they froze in the rain, Lamenting the truth they’d tried to pervert. Shivering, I asked to depart this plane A request to which my Guide acceded. Thus we left behind the media’s bane, The encroaching ice quickly receded. Before us now were rows of giant stones And behind each a small man proceeded To push it back and forth, with moans and groans, Across the dismal field of outsized dreams. “Economists,” I heard the amused tones Of the Guide, “and duly damned for their schemes That served as the key to open the door For terrible tax-and-spending regimes.” I spared but a brief sigh for Nobel’s whore As we fell to a field of sepulchers Uncovered and belching forth with a roar Crimson flames that seared those entrepreneurs Of finance, gamblers, investment bankers Who played games with exotic wire transfers. Those who had been for their banks anchors Howled in unending agony, the fire Fueled by derivatives, lethal cankers Of financial cunning that now require Unthinkable time to fully unwind. Until then, each shall scream in his stone pyre. No more could I bear, horror smote my mind, I reeled before sights I could not forget. And then my adviser did me remind We’d yet to meet the political set.