‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What James Bond can teach us about sex and money

When gender testing first came to the Olympics in 1966, Ukrainian track and field stars Tamara and Irina Press disappeared from the sports scene. Yet the methodology is still disputed.

I'd like to suggest a quicker and easier test: identifying movie preferences.

Generally speaking, women love films about loss and self-sacrifice (Love Story, Casablanca) whereas men prefer stories of conflict and victory, especially where the hero easily destroys hosts of enemies (James Bond, Arnold Schwarzenegger). For women, tear-jerkers; for men, jerk-tearers.

But don't look down your noses at 007, ladies: Bond has much to teach us about the world. Last night I watched the remake of "Casino Royale", starring Daniel Craig. In this yarn, the superspy ruins his arch-enemy in a high-stakes poker game with a pot of $150 million. When the spoils are stolen, he recovers them in a shootout in Venice that involves sinking a whole building into the marshes.

It's prescient: a movie from 2006 about financial speculation ending in a housing collapse.

There's a further lesson. When you have won all the chips on the table, you don't give them back to your competitors; you stand up and walk away. So it is with investment: now that a tiny elite has cornered most of the income and capital, why on earth would they re-enter the market?


Paddington said...

You are referring to what they call 'chick flicks' in the US. It's not that good a discriminator, except for levels of testosterone.

Paddington said...

In answer to your last paragraph and analogy:

1. When playing poker, try to theave the weaker players with a little, or they won't come back.
2. If the elite hold on to the wealth too long, then the subsequent collapse will make that wealth worthless.