Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Finger on the pulse

Heard story about some guy who played an integral part to the Great Inflation of the 60's.  He was the Chairman of one of Kennedy's economic teams.  There is some book out now about it.  I heard the author being interviewed on Bloomberg radio as I drove home from work last night.

This economist, though was the one who took a lot of credit simply because of his post.  The ideas set forth weren't even his own, but an aggregate of his team's findings.  It reminded me of what I read once about Marx and his Communist Manifesto.  One historian documented that Marx's ideas were not necessarily his own, but he was simply reiterating what he saw was evolving in Eastern Europe at the time.  Another benefactor to good timing was Rousseau and his knowledge of the popular taste in music.  He lived during the time when French classical music was at it's peak, but he favored Italian music and years later the popular culture confirmed his early conjectures. 

There is great reward in being ahead of the curve, but not too far.  Good old Nassim Taleb is one such benefactor as well as Malcolm Gladwell, even if some consider them charlatans.  I am sure history has produced countless examples.  What does this mean?  Skate to where the puck is headed, not where it's been.

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