Thursday, January 15, 2015

On the Swiss Franc and Euro. I demand a refund of my school fees. Wanna join me?

Yes, I have been a nerd all my life.  Now, keep in mind that there is a huge difference between a nerd and a geek.  Or a nerd and a dork. Definitely no dweeb, as this playful Venn diagram explains:


The nerd in me remembers a whole lot of ideas and concepts, while maintaining a selective amnesia about people and events.  Thus, I remember about a play called Refund that was a part of the curriculum years ago in high school. Or, was it The Refund, I wonder.

A wonderful farce the play is, for which the setup is a chance encounter that two old high schoolmates have two decades after graduation.  A Google search provides me with the full text of the play; how about that!  Anyway, the setup is this--the protagonist, Wasserkopf, says:
Here I was walking along the street, fired from my last job, and wondering how I could get hold of some cash, because I was quite broke. I met Leaderer. I said, ‘How goes it, Leaderer?’ ‘Fine!’ he says. ‘I’ve got to hurry to the broker’s to collect the money I made speculating in foreign exchange.’ ‘What’s foreign exchange?’ I said. He says ‘I haven’t got the time to tell you now, but, according to the paper, Hungarian money is down seventy points, and I’ve made the difference. Don’t you understand?’ Well, I didn’t understand. I said, ‘How do you make money if money goes down?’ and he says, ‘Wasserkopf, if you don’t know that, you don’t know a damn thing. Go to the school and get your tuition fees back.’ Then he hurried away and left me standing there, and I said to myself, ‘Why shouldn’t I do that?’ He’s right, now that I’ve thought it over. 
Of course, the principal and teachers make sure he does not get a refund, by explaining that his bizarre answers are all correct.

I, too, want to get to get a refund because I, too, cannot fathom what the hell is going on with the Swiss Franc-Euro foreign exchange thing that has been in the news all day long.  Somebody made money and that wasn't me!  To add insult to the injury, when I read this in the Economist, it seemed to me that understanding theoretical physics will be immensely easier.  The WSJ tries to be helpful by dumbing things down, but that puts me only closer to asking for a refund of my fees.  Forbes makes it worse.

To this guy, whose favorite dreams are about money and taxes, well, I am sure he needs no refund, especially given his immense wealth.  I suppose I can console myself that my school fees at least paid for his understanding of all this money-mumbo-jumbo! ;)

Oh, wait ... does this mean that I was never a nerd but only a dork? ;)


Ramesh said...

Ha Ha !

What's happened to you. Serial posting on economics ??? Are you still the same Prof I know or have you morphed into some other being ? Please display your identity to prove that you are still, well, you.

The most fascinating thing in this post was the "dweeb". Who on earth is that creature - this one's new to me.

Sriram Khé said...

The dweeby dork responds:

I write about Pongal and cricket, and you make fun of me.
I write about the meaning of life, and you think I am being negative.
I write about the Sikhs in Afghanistan, and you turn that into a rah-rah chant about the US.
And, one measly post about the Swiss Franc, which was not even the major part of the post, and you whine that I am forever writing about economics?


Anne in Salem said...

Your Venn diagram omits three sub-categories well known to high schoolers: the band geek, the orch dork (orchestra), and the choir nerd.

Ramesh, if you understand this foreign language, please educate those of us who are perplexed. And seriously, you've never heard of dweeb? Time to come to America to brush up on your slang!

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