Best of: Is it Safe?

Yes, another busy day, didn’t quite get an idea together so here is one of my more favorite “off the wall” posts about Is It Safe in the financial markets?

Is it Safe?

One of the most terrifying movies I have ever sat through is the Marathon Man which stars Sir Lawrence Oliver as a crazed Nazi dentist hiding jewels and Dustin Hoffman as a pawn in the entire scheme, and in this movie there is a set of scenes where the crazed Nazi dentist torments the Dustin Hoffman character with a hobby drill, drilling his teeth and the only question he keeps asking is “Is it safe?”. Just recollecting this scene puts chills up my spine, but it is actually a good metaphor for the current financial crisis.

This is going to hurt

This is going to hurt

At the macro level governments have no idea whether “It is safe” and they really don’t know what the answer to the question is, but in fact this movie is an even stronger metaphor at the Personal Finance level.

Is it safe? What does that mean? Is our money safe? Is our job safe? Is our lifestyle safe? Is what safe? Is our economy safe? Is my credit safe? Is my RRSP safe? Is it safe to retire? Is my house safe? (to paraphrase a frantic Dustin Hoffman), the question without context is very hard to answer, and there is the harder part, what is the answer? Is it safe? I have no idea, but I think we are all fighting to find out “Is it safe?”. I hope we are safe, but I guess we really won’t know what the question means and what the answer is, for a while.

Are you safe?


{ 2 comments… add one }

  • The Rat September 30, 2009, 8:43 AM

    Based on your post, which does bring to light just how fragile the world around us can be, may I suggest that it may be safe not to think too much on whether or not things are ‘safe enough’ as it may drive us to the loonie bin!

    In all seriousness though, it does make one ponder – how safe are our investments? Will the banks secure our savings if all hell breaks loose? If you look at how banks have tightened up lending and experienced a wave of re-regulation, things can change rather quickly for consumers and businesses alike when the markets go through a hurricane.



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