Daily Archives: July 9, 2009

By Richard Robb

In their classic routine, Carl Reiner asks Mel Brooks, the 2000 Year Old Man, to explain how he has managed to live for so long. Brooks replies that he avoids fruits, vegetables, meats, grains – each of which causes some comic side effect. All that’s left for him is “cool mountain water.” “Just that,” the old man says, “and a stuffed cabbage.” Reiner asks whether stuffed cabbage is allowed on his diet. The answer, of course, is “What, you think for a little mountain water I’m gonna keep myself alive?”

Financial risk-taking has come to a similar juncture. Politicians and regulators agree that risk doesn’t belong in banks because it might require another taxpayer bailout. It doesn’t belong in hedge funds either – they are murky and generally wicked. Be sure not to imperil insurance companies or government agencies. And keep risk far away from retail investors, who need protection most of all. Oh yeah, we want risk-taking somewhere so we can have a dynamic economy. It’s our financial stuffed cabbage. Read more