“Shocked as we may be today by drastic contrasts between the standards of living in modern industrial nations and the standards of living in Third World countries, such disparities have been common for thousands of years of recorded history. These disparities have extended beyond wealth to the things that create wealth— including the knowledge, skills, habits and discipline that have developed unequally in different geographic, cultural and political settings.”
“Nobody has the intention of building a wall!” Protested angered Walter Ulbricht during a press conference on June 15, 1961. None of those present had asked him because none of them supposed that this was even possible. The lapsus linguae of the first secretary of the SED was not taken seriously because, who in his right mind could even conceive the idea of enclosing an entire city with two million people inside?
We harbor a crippling dislike for the abstract. One day in December 2003, when Saddam Hussein was captured, Bloomberg News flashed the following headline at 13:01: u.s. TREASURIES RISE; HUSSEIN CAPTURE MAY NOT CURB TERRORISM.
Whenever there is a market move, the news media feel obligated to give the “reason.” Half an hour later, they had to issue a new headline. As these U.S. Treasury bonds fell in price (they fluctuate all day long, so there was nothing special about that), Bloomberg News had a new reason for the fall: Saddam’s capture (the same Saddam). At 13:31 they issued the next bulletin: u.s. TREASURIES FALL; HUSSEIN CAPTURE BOOSTS ALLURE OF RISKY ASSETS.