Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Money: Madness and Sadness

The money madness continues. It seems those shorting hedgies have got their fingers burned by trying to short Volkswagen just as the shares were about to soar. They could, according to the unsleeping Robert Peston, have lost £20 billion (yes, billion) - excuse me a moment while I staunch my hot tears...
For a touch of sanity, let's turn to Philip Larkin. Here he takes a cool look at money, wondering what it is and what it does. What sets the poem spinning - as so often with Larkin - is the sudden drastic shift of focus towards the end, as, in a kind of reverse zoom, he pulls far away from the ostensible subject and finds someting else altogether that is yet the essence of it. And it is indeed intensely sad.


  1. It's good to be reminded of such a fine poem. But I guess you could say that Larkin's poetry was all about this failure to connect. There was always something hard but indefinable in the way, so that what he reached for was always out of reach. He wasn't normal and he knew it.

    The money madness is moving into eastern and southern Europe. All those who've been suckered into buying holiday homes around the area - in Greece and Turkey, too - must be losing some sleep at the moment.

  2. "But Porsche, the sports car giant, had been secretly building a 74 per cent stake in its rival, the world's third-largest carmaker."
    If this was a secret it was histories worst kept one, Porsche have effectively owned VW for some time, a wise strategic move "technology sharing" being the motive. Larkin should write a poem about the hedgies, the twenty first centuries carriers of the greed plague.

  3. He's the master of the abrupt, amusingly brutal line - 'It is intensely sad.'

    See also "That's out of proportion" in Toads.

  4. It's crazy all the madness that is going on right now with money. I stumbled upon another blogger, who works solely on Money Madness. I think you would really enjoy his work.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!