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Elves, Dwarves, and Smurfs: The Other Magical Beings of the Financial Markets

Remember Sleeping Beauty companies waiting to wake up and grow to their full potential, Mad Hatter CEO’s making puzzling decisions, and Leprechaun executives hiding away gold at the end of the rainbow or in offshore accounts? These magical beings share the enchanted world of Faërie and the markets with dwarves, elves, and occasionally even with blue-skinned Smurfs.

Investopedia explains us that elves were a group of technical analysts who appeared on the PBS TV show “Wall Street Week”, which aired from 1970 to 2005. The elves attempted to predict the direction of the market in the coming months, and gained popularity due to their inability to make accurate predictions. Dwarves, the beings of Germanic mythology that dwell in mountains and who are masters at smithing and crafting, are also a slang word used in finance to describe a pool or mortgage-backed securities issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (aka Fannie Mae). And although they don’t officially belong in Faërie, “Smurfs”, popular elf-like beings created by Belgian comic artist Peyo, are related –quite unfairly– to money launderers. It also describes someone who seeks to evade scrutiny by authorities by breaking up large transactions into smaller ones.

Stayed tuned for our next All-Hallows-Eve post and learn about the terrifying creatures such as zombies, phantoms, and ghosts, that inhabit the financial markets side-by-side with elves and fairies.

Tuesday, 27 Oct, 2015 / 10:52

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