Wednesday Night #1495: The Scribe’s Personal Prologue
Fifteen or so years ago, before the ubiquity of the Internet and E-Mail, I received by telephone, an invitation from an anonymous woman with the voice (but obviously not the malevolence) of the Siren drawing me inexorably to a gathering at 33 Rosemount Avenue where I met professors and students, physicians and patients, politicians and diplomats, historians and seers (mostly in the domain of finance, economics and the stock market). Personages whom most of the population saw only in the newspapers or on television, became friends and fascinating sources of information. The world shrank as it became evident that foreign guests of varying origin, language and religion shared like concerns. Dialogue between invitees with diametrically opposing views succeeded in proving that absolute truth does not exist, only different interpretations of the same data, although, at times, albeit rarely, the interpretation of the message might have warranted shooting the messenger.
The Nicholsons have graciously permitted their home to be used, chairs to be worn out and broken, their beautiful rugs wine-stained and memories to be created. What began as a small gathering of half a dozen or so 28.6516 years ago, grew, as experts in various fields presented, exchanged and predicted, forming close friendships and came to learn and inform when their area of expertise was on the program, drawn together first by the voice of the Siren, later by personal invitation and E-Mail.
As was inevitable, the time has come for the move to a smaller but no less elegant meeting place. The familiar furniture, lighting and surroundings will be maintained, as well as the quality and variety of the topics and selection of the guests. The hearts as well as the physical being of the guests will move with the Nicholsons and we wish them well in Phase II of the Wednesday Night Salon. What they have given us exceeds immeasurably, anything that we, their guests have been able to provide in return.
The move by the Nicholsons of Wednesday Night Salons is likened to the move of a Buddhist mandala; on moving to a new site, the Buddhist monks are said to remove the last stone placed on the old mandala to become the first stone of the mandala on the new site.
As the world emerges from the 2009 financial crisis, some sectors appear to be doing exceptionally well, although events such as the strikes in Paris, and problems in other countries in the world provide evidence that faith in elected government officials wanes. Respect is being lost for people in power as the population wavers apparently between supporting austerity for others and stimulation for themselves.
As for North America, the U.S. is printing money as a means of maintaining its national lifestyle. As has been evident in Japan, this solution can only lead to inflation. This would certainly lead to the Canadian dollar exceeding the U.S. dollar in value, an unacceptable, destructive situation, inevitably leading to inflation in Canada as well.
The Stock Market
The stock market has risen as predicted and uncharacteristically in an off-year U.S. election, continues to do so. The bull market is expected to continue right until the end of this year. Inexplicably, the 2009 financial disaster appears to be have resulted in the reluctance on the part of some would be investors to once again enter the stock market in favour of investing in short term bonds paying interest below the rate of inflation. The Mavens explain that the average investor confuses the fortunes of the economy with that of the market, not recognizing that the market is proactive, the economy, reactive.
In a sense, the stock market might be likened to a never-ending roller coaster ride, with short and long dips, but inexorably rising. The apparent current post-crash political instability in the world today, causes some to fear that an unanticipated event analogous to the assassination of the Archduke of Sarajevo might very well have the capacity to adversely affect economic and political world stability.
With increasing affluence in South Africa, closer relations with Canada in terms of economics and social development can be anticipated.