Seeing as I’m writing this on a Sunday, a parable seems fairly apt.
A wise man who was lost in the desert sees horsemen in the distance. ‘Bandits!’ he thinks and, wheeling his horse round, trots in the opposite direction. Looking round, he sees that they are following him, so he rides faster.
Five minutes later, they are still gaining on him. He becomes frightened, gallops into a thicket and hides.
His pursuers follow him and dismount. He is very relieved to see that they are his friends, who were searching for him. They ask him why on earth is he hiding from them behind a bush miles out of the way.
“It’s more complicated than you think,” replies the wise man. “I’m here because of you and you are here because of me.”
Neither was where they wanted to be.
Now, this could be applied to any number of situations but for now substitute governments for the wise man (no sniggering at the back, please) and swap the markets for the bandits / friends (granted, half of this equation makes for an easier leap of faith).
It’s not a perfect analogy, I know. There is the obvious problem of the governments / wise man parallel, and secondly that there are plenty of the wise man’s friends who are nothing of the sort. Like the morally bankrupt hedge fund managers currently betting vast sums on the demise of the Euro in order to make the collapse of the Euro more likely.
But on a simplistic level it does highlight what a crazy system we have where both parties lead each other further into the wilderness through a continual ‘dialogue’ of assumptions, miscalculations, reactions and counter-reactions.
Prior to writing this article I hadn’t thought about parables for some time. But checking up on them, there is a tendency to leave it to the reader to come up with the answers. Which is just as well as this one is a bit of a thorny knot which the finest minds on the planet are failing to unravel.
It is certainly one that is way beyond my feeble musings. Over to you then, dear reader. While you ponder, my only advice – be you a wise man, friend or bandit – is to prepare for a lengthy spell in the desert.