Monday, October 13, 2008

My uncle Gino's advice

When I look at my face in the mirror while shaving my beard, I always think of my uncle Gino from Toronto, who used to give investment advice (he had his own investment letter for many years). One morning, the only morning I stayed at his home near Toronto, he told me that I did not need to hurry when shaving, as this would not finish the job more quickly. "Just do it quietly," he suggested.

This morning I had to think of my uncle Gino's advice when I was hurrying back to my computer to finish a post I've wanted to write for a long time, about visions of the future of finance in the global system. Why should I be in a hurry, I said to myself, if it won't speed the writing of a good piece?

The picture shows my uncle Gino in his youth, in the Netherlands. He died a couple of years ago, in Canada, the country that had become his new home when he emigrated in the late 1940s or early 1950s. I know him as one of my many uncles and aunts in Canada (my brother also lives in Canada). Gino was a successful investment adviser until he lost his money, not because of an international credit or debt crisis but because of something else.

PS: I see that the original date of drafting the first two paragraphs of this post appears as the date of this post. However, today it's 25 November 2008 and not 13 October 2008, so "normally" I would have felt that I should hurry to finally finish that post on visions of the future. But, listening to my uncle Gino's advice and seeing the speed of information and the speed of financial transactions as one of the problems of global finance and development, I know that slow writing (and slow financial transactions) may make a better contribution to world stability than all this frenzy chasing after financial news and financial opportunities.

Es esa locura de "breaking news" y "today's financial opportunities" (Act now!) en que vivimos que es una de las causas de la crisis... It is this madness of "breaking news" and "today's financial opportunities" in which we are living that is one of the origins of the crisis...

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