UBS floor guy Art Cashin likens the situation in Europe to an old Greek fable:
Watching the Kabuki dance staged by European leaders as the sovereign debt crisis turns worse daily, I am reminded of an anecdote about a disciple of the philosopher Heraclitus. Here’s my version of the
anecdote from December 2002:
Let me try to walk through the concept another way. It concerns a fable about a disciple of Heraclitus.
Heraclitus, as you recall from sixth grade, was a Greek philosopher in the fifth or sixth century B.C. (OK, so my memory is a touch inexact). Heraclitus in his own way was the father of chaos theory. He said you could never step in the same river twice, since the water you first stepped in was swept away and the next step was into new and different water. He likened reality to a flame. It looks the same in form but is ever changing.
Anyway, this disciple of Heraclitus (whose name I’ve forgotten) was condemned to death for his teachings.
He begged for his life and promised that if death were postponed, he would teach the king’s horse how to fly within a year.
The king, naturally fascinated, complied.
A friend of the prisoner admonished him for conduct unbecoming of a philosopher. Why postpone the inevitable?
Die with grace.
The ex-prisoner replied that before there was but one possibility. He would be executed. Now there were four possibilities. Within the year – the king could die – I could die – the horse could die…..or I could teach the damn horse to fly.
Like the disciple of Heraclitus, leadership in Euroland cannot find a solution and appears to be trying only to buy time and hoping horses learn to fly.