Guelfs and Ghibbelines

This is Doug Tengdin from Charter Trust with the Global Market Update for Tuesday, November 4th, 2008. Today I want to talk about an epic political struggle. No, not that one.

In Renaissance Italy two parties vied for power. One faction was allied to the Pope-the other to the Emperor. Both groups had their sub-groups and their dynasties, and when they got into office they often treated each other very badly.

As these two factions struggled, lives were ruined and families were broken. The great poet Dante was on the losing side, was tried, and spent the rest of his life in exile.

But almost no one remembers parties– the Guelfs and Ghibbelines-and even though, from Dante’s perspective, the wrong side won, the West won out in the end, as Dante’s experience led him to compose the Divine Comedy.

No matter who wins our epic political battle, it will not be the end of the world. I’m not saying that the election is unimportant, but every four years we hear the same story: this is the most important election of our lifetime. Until the next four years. The perspective of a little time tells us that what endures is not politics, but the human spirit.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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