Connecticut Musings

Sometimes we need to stop for a moment and reflect. This commentary is focused on markets and the people who make them, but circumstances require something deeper today.

The horrors inflicted upon the children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday both are both repugnant and mesmerizing. We are repelled by the brutality, but curious about what could have motivated such cruelty. Over the weekend I found myself repeatedly drawn to the news only to turn away in disbelief and disgust.

But people have been facing such tragedies ever since the first murder (although not on this scale). Our hearts cry out to understand how such things are possible. A hundred years ago the writer Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness, where he uses a river journey into central Africa as an extended metaphor about the darkness within every human heart. And we’ve seen this—in Norway, on 9/11, in the atrocities of the 20th century—some individuals become unhinged and commit unspeakably heinous acts.

Conrad writes that we may start out with dreams of commerce, or fame, or adventure, but often end up unintentionally exploiting everything around us. Whether we misuse nature, or science, or other people, what begins well-intentioned becomes bent and twisted. Another 20th century writer has noted that the line between good and evil runs not between nations or parties, but through the middle of every human heart.

So we rely on institutions and each other to restrain our nature and draw out what is good. Sometimes these fail. The genius of our society is we adapt and move on. But after this heart-wrenching story let’s remember to care.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2014-09-05T21:05:32+00:00 December 17th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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