Opinion

Felix Salmon

Metaphor watch, Buffett edition

Felix Salmon
Aug 19, 2009 17:46 UTC

Warren Buffett sure does love his metaphors. Here he is talking about mistakes being made in economic policy during the crisis:

How could it have been otherwise when supposedly indestructible pillars of our economic structure were tumbling all around them? A meltdown, though, was avoided, with a gusher of federal money playing an essential role in the rescue.

The United States economy is now out of the emergency room and appears to be on a slow path to recovery.

I count seven metaphors in three sentences here: the tumbling-yet-supposedly-indestructible pillars (architecture); the meltdown (nuclear power); the gusher (um, oil drilling?); the playing of a role (theatre); the rescue (although maybe “rescue” is at this point so ubiquitous as to no longer be metaphorical); the emergency-room-and-recovery (healthcare); and the slow path (walking, I guess).

Buffett still can’t lay a finger on Bill Gross, though, who once went so far as to explain how “the pyramid begins to unravel”. Why is it that financial-sector billionaires seem to be unwilling or unable to be edited?

COMMENT

I see a chance, albeit a super slim one it’s a chance nonetheless. Seems that too many congressmen are beholden to all the interests, left and/or right. IE, if memory serves most Wall St firms (IB, hedge funds) on balance contributed more to the Democrat presidential campaigns last year.

Might just live to see Thomas Jefferson’s quotation be tested…about the tree of liberty and what-not

Posted by Griff | Report as abusive

Metaphor of the day, Hank Paulson edition

Felix Salmon
Jun 9, 2009 18:52 UTC

alpha.tiff

Hank Paulson has decided that the TARP repayment proves that the program “worked to stabilize our financial system”. Obviously, if you give people a bunch of money they don’t want, and then reluctantly accept that you’ll allow them to repay it, then you must have achieved something substantial, right?

Or else you’ve just achieved a state where even your clichés become tortured: Paulson goes on to inform us (I imagine a deep and sonorous voice ringing out from a cavernous library somewhere) that “the road ahead is not short”. Which is probably just as well, seeing as how short roads have a tendency to come to a rather abrupt halt.

COMMENT

“Obviously, if you give people a bunch of money they don’t want, and then reluctantly accept that you’ll allow them to repay it, then you must have achieved something substantial, right?”

I’m not a fan of Paulson but when he gave them the money they needed it and wanted it.

The idea that they were forced to take it was PR designed to make them look like they were in better shape than they were.

Posted by dk | Report as abusive
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