Whoa! The WSJ Selling The Apocalypse?

No court this afternoon, so I stole some time to read a back issue of the Wall Street Journal. A good friend of mine who is a former federal prosecutor tried to explain to me earlier in the week why the SEC's prosecution of Goldman Sachs was a crock of ... well, feces. So I struggled through the financial pages trying hard to understand.

As I was getting set to toss the paper, I noticed a teal blue page with digital print almost an inch tall. "THE END IS HERE," IT READ. I unfolded the paper and saw that The Wall Street Journal had carried a full-page advertisement for the new Tim LaHaye book, Edge of Apocalypse.

"North Korean missiles have been launched. They will devastate Manhattan in 14 minutes. And that is only the begininng. ... This riveting first book of The End Series takes readers on a spectacular thrill ride that's been foretold for centuries and is playing out in today's headlines," the copy read. The ad sports a web URL. The first chapter of the book is already on Twitter.

I suppose I should not find it odd that the financial industry's paper of record, shall we call it the Grey Esquire?, would feature a book about doom, gloom and the end of the world. Wall Street is the sort of place, we've learned, where betting on failure is profitable business. But I've always regarded LaHaye as something of a crackpot.

Of course, I have never read LaHaye, and as I sat pondering the ad my curiosity was piqued. In a flash, I ordered a digital copy to be delivered to my Kindle. Every litigator knows that life is nasty, brutish and mighty dull in most courthouses, most days. The next time I am forced to sit and wait for the wheels of justice to begin turning, I plan to while away the time with LaHaye.

Apocalyptic literature strikes me as a fantastic portal into the collective unconscious. We are story tellers by nature. The ends we conceive in fantasy speak volumes about the lives we lead and the commitments we are prepared to make. I'll report soon on what LaHaye teaches about common culture. Whether a crank or not, he's got a large body of readers.

I wonder if he is required reading in product development at Goldman Sachs?

UPDATE: The link was only to the first four chapters. The work is entirely plot-driven; sort of like Jack Ryan meets Jesus at Starbucks. Chapters one through four set a hook, though. Can New York be saved from impending doom? The writing is not very engaging, but doom and gloom sells.

Comments: (2)

  • I've never read LaHaye either. Never heard of him....
    I've never read LaHaye either. Never heard of him. I'll look for it at tag sales and inside dumpsters, in my travels. I do know 'apocalyptic' books and literature are always 'wrong', by definition, in the same way that Frank Lloyd Wright architecture is 'right', by definition. The fact that you gleaned this from the W.S. Journal, I take to be bullish for stocks. When there's blood in the streets, that's when you scoop them up--if you have the money.
    You remember when Newsweek ran the 'Death of Equities' cover in 1975, just a few weeks before a bottom in the biggest bull market ever in the U.S.? It pays to be a contrarian in the U.S. of A.! I think you attorneys are Constitutionally depressed, and constipated. Hey, I'm not happy either, but...
    Did you see this piece by Sebastian Mallaby in yesterday's Washington Post, WaPo to you:
    ? I predict Goldman wins and gets to keep the money too. The SEC is simpley out of its league. Apparently, they [Goldman] did nothing wrong; just standard operating procedures, SOP to you. It's a powerhouse, and they will fight back. You can bet your sweet bipee. And look at all the Goldman alumni working for the fed today. You think they won't put the kibash on this silly indictment which is based on nothing more than a prayer and a hail-Mary? If Goldman is guilty of something, well then maybe Sen. Dodd, Rep. Frank and Chairman Greenspan are guilty of something as well?
    Whenever I hear 'Apocalypse Now', I think Dow 50,000. Was that not also a book? Hey, I didn't grow up in Greenwich for nothin?!? My eyes are not wide-shut.
    The government cannot compete with the private sector, no way, no how. All they can do is lie, cheat, steal, prevaricate, fudge the numbers and spew forth nonsensical rhetoric. Oh, they can haul you into court on trumped-up charges, convict and incarcerate you. Thanks Uncle Sam. At least some of us (non-felons) can still vote. Go Scott and Sarah! Do not disappoint us who voted for you?!?
    Rep. Steven King, R-Iowa, was excellent today in his hour-long diatribe against ObamaCare. Leave it to middle-Amerika and the Mid-West to pull us out of this morass of epic proportions. According to King, the feds have taken over 1/3 of the private-sector economy. How can that be? That is criminal! And they promise to reduce health costs? Yea, and I have a bridge in N.Y. and a tower in Paris for sale. As Bob Dylan said, to each his own, his own unknown.
    Posted on April 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm by William Doriss
  • See what I mean?:...
    See what I mean?:...
    We pay these senior attorneys and accountants $225,000 to sit in their offices and watch porn? This is simpley outrageous and unacceptable. But where is the accountability of government? A: there is no accountability; that's why these morons go for these do-nothing jobs.
    You're not going to fix the financial or health care system by legislative, executive or judicial fiat. It just won't work, and the sooner we come to that realization, the better we're all going to be. This is exactly what Rep. Steve King was saying on the House floor yesterday. Naturally the chamber was empty of members, as the C-Span camera scan clearly showed. These incompetents need to resign, or get voted out once and for all.
    You laugh? You have superior court judges in CT working four and five hour days for $150,000. That is a lot of money for sitting in a black Halloween costume on a rickety pedestal with piece of wood in your right hand and a so-called bailiff protecting your left side. ALL RISE!
    The current flap is whether to hire 9 new judges at a cost to the judiciary of $1.7 million, I believe the number being reported. Rell wants the judges, but also wants to cut the budget at the same time as I understand the impasse. Well, you can't have both, governor. How did this lady get the job anyway? Did she just walk in off the street? (Maybe she did.) Lady Rell is no Ella Grasso, that's for sure. Those days are gone.
    The SEC staff would have been better off if they had been caught reading Steven King or John Grisham novels on the job, or godforbid a serious book by Yale economist Robert Shiller. In those cases, there would be AP stories. Shiller is not 'easy' reading, and he did predict the current housing bubble, albeit a couple of years early. Better early than late. I wonder if anyone at SEC has ever heard of him?
    Perhaps the LaHaye book, above, might have been minimally acceptable on-the-job reading. Job-related, so to speak.
    P.S., nurses and probation officers are ALWAYS in short supply. On the other hand, there's a never-ending supply of attorneys, accountants and judges standing in line to work for the government. I wonder why? Just say NO to feeding at the public trough.
    Posted on April 23, 2010 at 1:06 am by William Doriss

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