Of rains and interest rates…

Hopefully our capital-F Foolish investing analogy is clear. 

Young boy with glasses in a suit sits at a chair and reads a newspaper.

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This article, but for the name of the current Reserve Bank governor, is 10 years old.

It borrows from (okay, is ripped off from) one of the great bush poems, Said Hanrahan, by John O'Brien. A tweet from the inimitable business journo, Michael Pascoe, reminded me that I'd written it, and prompted me to share it, once again.

Feel free to read the original first (or after). It's better. Obviously. And it was about rain. This one is about rates. But, well, people's responses now, and their responses then, aren't that dissimilar.


"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan

He sounded most forlorn

Outside the ASX while trade began

One chilly Monday morn.

The investors stood around about,

Coat-collars to the ears,

And talked of shares and interest rates

As they had done for years.

"It's lookin' crook," said Daniel Croke;

"Bedad, it's cruke, me lad

For never since the GFC

Had investing been so bad."

"It's bad, all right," said young Whitehead

With timing so sublime

As everyone in chorus said

"It's different this time".

And so around the chorus ran

"The market's stuffed, no doubt."

"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,

"Before the year is out.

"The shares have crashed; ye'll have your work

To save your hard earned cash;

From here way out to Back-O'-Bourke

They're talkin' 'bout the crash".

"They're cryin' for rate cuts," he said,

"They've gone and lost their nerve."

The investors scratched their heads,

And awaited the Reserve.

"There won't be growth, in any case,

Not a dollar to be made;

The market's rigged – a gambler's place

What is a guy to trade?"

"If shares don't spike this month," said Dan,

And cleared his throat to speak –

"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "

If rates don't fall this week."

A heavy silence seemed to spread

O'er all – it was a sign

As everyone in chorus said

"It's different this time".

"We want a small rate cut, we do,"

O'Neil observed at last;

But Croke "maintained" we wanted two

To put the danger past.

"If we don't get 0.5%, man,

Or more to break this drought,

We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,

"Before the year is out."

In Phil's good time down came the rates;

And all the afternoon

In boardrooms of investment banks in town

They sang a happy tune.

And speculation continued still,

And lightsome, gladsome elves

On dripping spout and window-sill

Kept talking to themselves.

'Twas exuberance all day long,

A-singing at its work,

Till every cabbie took up the song

Way out to Back-O'-Bourke.

And sure as sure wages ran,

Then inflation overtop;

"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,

"If these rate cuts don't stop."

And stop they did, in Phil's good time:

And spring came in to fold

A mantle o'er the hills sublime

Fortunes made in gold.

And days went by as good times rolled,

With drinking from the cup,

As shares and bonds and bars of gold,

They went nowhere but up.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,

As happy guy and girl

Winning the share market race

Jumped online to buy and sell.

While round the bar well dressed and fed

They drank the finest wine,

As everyone in chorus said

"It's different this time".

"There'll be a crash for sure, me man,

There will, without a doubt;

We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,

"Before the year is out".

… "Said Hanrahan" originally spoke of the doomsayers who seemed to delight in predicting drought, then flood – all the while missing the point that farmers were successful despite – not in the absence of – the occasional meteorological extreme.

Hopefully our capital-F Foolish investing analogy is clear.

Fool on!

Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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