Wednesday, November 17, 2010

While on the subject of Arthur Cutten....

picture from wikipedia cause I'm too lazy to walk a few blocks to take it myself

Beside the CBOT building currently are two statues representing Industry and Agriculture which once graced above the entrance to the prior CBOT building.  When the previous CBOT building was torn down, the statues (somehow) became property of Arthur Cutten on his suburban estate which eventually became the Hidden Lake Forest Preserve after Cutten's death.  The statues eventually were recovered in the past decade and were moved back to the CBOT location. 

There aren't a lot of superstitions or routines that I believe in but one thing I always do is touch the cornucopia on the statue of Agriculture whenever I walk by as a reminder of the potential bounty the markets have to offer.  The statue pictured above is similar the Goddess Fortuna who is shown with a cornucopia in one hand but a rudder in the other.  If there is a mythical Goddess for traders to think of, Fortuna is certainly the most fitting:

photo credit

"She was to be found on the back of many Roman coins, holding a cornucopia in one hand and a rudder in the other.  She was beautiful and usually wore a light tunic and a coy smile.  Her name was Fortune.  She had originated as a fertility goddess, the firstborn of Jupiter, and was honored with a festival on the 25th of May and with temples throughout Italy, visited by the barren and farmers in search of rain.  But gradually her remit had widened, she had become associated with money, advancement, love and health.  The cornucopia was a symbol of her power to bestow favours, the rudder a symbol of her more sinister power to change destinies.  She could scatter gifts, then with terrifying speed shift the rudder's course, maintaining an imperturbable smile as she watched us choke to death on a fishbone or disappear in a landslide." 

- Alain de Botton The Consolations of Philosophy
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