2010 Investing: A Tale of Two Economies

Dec. 28, 2009 2:29 PM ETWSM, TIF, SKS, JWN, IHI, ISRG, MDT, TMO, BSX, STJ, SYK, GE, MRK, PFE, CELG, AMGN, UHS, THC, ACHV, XLF, UYG, TBT, OWW, CCL, MAR, IHG, SPWR, STP, SUNE, AMAT, INTC, GLW, UAL81 Comments
Philip Davis profile picture
Philip Davis
66.62K Followers

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." - Charles Dickens, 1859

Dickens' famous novel (which was originally written as a weekly series in 31 installments) depicts life in the time of the French revolution but was also a parable, meant to warn the British aristocracy that they should not ignore the parallels to the social inequities that existed at the time in England. Dickens warned the nobles that the seeds of revolution were planted through unjust acts and surely there would be a time of reaping yet to come.

It is said that the French Revolution was sparked by outrage over a statement by the Queen Marie Antoinette who, when told that the peasants had no bread to eat, supposedly replied (she never actually said this) "Qu’ils mangent de la brioche" or "Then let them eat cake." It’s hard for us to imagine the impact of this statement in modern times but "peasants" were 90% of the population at the time. Bread was 90% of what they ate, consuming 50% of the average family’s income. People weren’t silly enough to pay for housing back then - they just found a bit

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66.62K Followers
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