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January 31, 2007

The New Yorker, Edith Hamilton; Edith Hamilton, the New Yorker

Filed under: Journal — Milind Kulkarni @ 5:50 pm

Skimming through the NY Times this afternoon, I came upon this gem:

The people who are warning that New York is losing its dominance as a global financial center because of overregulation make up “a chorus of Cassandras,” James Surowiecki writes in the latest issue of The New Yorker. The article’s skeptical stance echoes Jenny Anderson’s Insider column in last week’s New York Times, in which she suggested there was some “undue panic” over the flight of companies to overseas markets.

While I perhaps agree that there’s no need to panic over the possibility of NY losing its preeminence in the global capital markets, that’s not what I found interesting about this passage. Apparently, James Surowiecki feels that, in order to convey skepticism about calamitous predictions, comparing the nattering nabobs of negativity to Cassandra is the necessary metaphor. Which, of course, is precisely the wrong one, seeing as how Cassandra was always correct, but no one believed her. Maybe Surowiecki was making an ironic statement which the Times merely misapprehended. I doubt it.

Time to brush up on your Mythology.

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