Avoiding Swine Flu

While we must be careful about accepting stereotypes too literally, I think most folks would agree that in general pigs have developed an unfavorable reputation. I have never owned a pig so am by no means to be considered an authoritative source of information regarding either the pot-bellied or tea cup variety, but I have done some research. What I have found does not compel me to adopt one. They are intelligent and perpetually hungry which means they can usually figure out how to get into any closet, cupboard, refrigerator, whatever, in search of food. They also like to root; this is another way of saying it is quite probably that a pet porker might just look under your wall-to-wall carpet for a snack–more than once. They can apparently be trained to use a litter box but you should be aware of two things. First, “little” pigs grow to weigh 150 to 200 pounds in about five years which means you are going to need a whale of a box. Second, since what they mostly want to do is eat, they must constantly make room for new gnoshes by eliminating the old. Any attempt to handle this situation by feeding them less, risks having them in turn consider sampling you. Many a farmer has lost a finger or two to a hog; at home, should you choose to take in a pig, you may want to keep your toes covered and a watchful eye on small children.

Speaking of pigs, have I told you the one about bankers? Globally, the fixed income, equity, and gold markets really took it on the chin after Fed head Bernanke suggested recently that the current era of easy money will come to an end some day. Indices everywhere seemed to tank in unison on what was (1) obvious and (2) still scheduled for some time in the undefined future. The rout caused Richard Fisher, the Dallas Fed’s president, to tell The Financial Times that “Markets tend to test things…I do believe that big money does organize itself somewhat like feral hogs. If they detect a weakness or a bad scent, they’ll go after it.”

So there you have it. Pigs are called pigs because they act pretty much as nature intended. Bankers, and many other large money centers, may be likened to swine because they sometimes have a tendency to emulate one. I, for one, shall bring neither pigs nor bankers as pets into my household and would strongly recommend that you let any urge to do so pass prior to fulfillment. Get a guppy maybe. Meanwhile, here at Atlas, we will continue trying to keep your portfolio inoculated against Swine Flu. (by J R)