Where’s Hamlet?

We’ve seen the deaths of Polonius, Claudius, and Laertes, otherwise known as house-price falls, commodity-price rises and bank collapses. There still remains the death of Hamlet himself, the final double-digit percentage stock market crash. That is all that is missing from the Shakespearean drama that is the current financial crisis.

Despite the events there have still been many people who have profited from the current compensation system: “Our indiscretion sometime serves us well/ When our deep plots do pall/ And that should learn us/ There’s a divinity that shapes our ends/ Rough-hew them how we will.”

A little introspection by regulators (I will omit the rather obvious Hamlet quote!) would be appreciated.

In the final scene Horatio says “And let me speak to the yet unknowing world/ How these things came about. So shall you hear/ Of carnal, bloody and unnatural acts/ Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters/ Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause/ And, in this upshot, purposes mistook/ Fall’n on the inventors’ heads.”

Sadly one letter in the above must be changed, it is not the “inventors” who suffer at the end of this modern-day tragedy, but instead the “investors.”

Something is rotten, and not just in the state of Denmark.

P

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