William Hecht
Author Archive

William Hecht

Markets

[Authors Note: This material is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Consult an investment professional about your personal investment needs and preferences for risk] I HAVE BEEN AN AVID OBSERVER  for thirty years as markets have made their seemingly inexorable rise despite manias and crashes and soaring national debt. I read about historical markets and the concomitant calamities and mostly booming recoveries therefrom.  I wish I had a dollar for every conspiracy theory and every method of prediction or forecasting I have come across. I even had a financial radio show in 2005-6. All of my guests–many of them prestigious–predicted the crash to come, though two years early.  The current market condition–like much of what else has happened in the last five years–continues to have

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Movies

TOM HANKS doesn’t make bad movies, though he has been part of so many great ones that many, like this one, are merely “good” or “worthwhile.” News of the World takes place not long after the Civil War-where a  lot of things had been disrupted, of course, and not yet returned to their proper place [Over 150 years later this remains true]. There aren’t many jobs that allow you to earn a living to avoid going home, but Hank’s character, Captain Kidd, found one. Part  performer, part civil servant, and former soldier, Kidd travels about the Middle West to read to townspeople from a collection of domestic newspapers. He has to be part diplomat, too because in every audience he is sure to have sensitive

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  LITERATURE AND SOCIETY dance a duet and take turns leading.  It isn’t always apparent that changes in Art are a response to changes in society and culture  or whether the order is reversed. Yet the very “ominous” poem, The Second Coming by Yeats was written just after WWI, the “war to end all wars” (https://www.moviesmarketsandmore.com/twilight-in-the-land-of-more/). And Orwell’s dystopian 1984 (published 1949) was a response to totalitarianism before, during, and after WWII (https://www.moviesmarketsandmore.com/orwells-1984-is-the-book-of-our-time-a-canticle-for-eric-blair/ ). In the Roaring Twenties, the male and privileged romanticism of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were the rage. By the end of the Depression, the mantle of social authority was transferred to the destitute masses in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath or the more haunted existences of the Deep South revealed in

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Movies

            SADLY, FOR THE LAST YEAR, my established ritual of “experiencing” films at the theatre was reduced to merely “watching” them on a laptop or waiting to view the next episode on the TV. Still, I managed to watch Fargo (4) and Snowpiercer (1) on TV, and then watched Midnight Sky and Mank on premium channels. Both Midnight Sky and Mank are worthy films. Mank has a shot at a Best Actor Oscar for Gary Oldman’s role as screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz. David Fincher’s black-and-white story behind the creation of Citizen Kane reveals how one of the greatest films ever made was the result of determination (Orson Welles) and perseverance (Mankiewicz) as it suggested the often unflattering experiences of a very

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  ONLY TWO WEEKS AGO, when I posted The Sun, the Moon, and the Truth (https://www.moviesmarketsandmore.com/1838-2/), it hadn’t occurred to me that the financial sector might slip in at the back of the alternate reality parade and march into make-believe with other swarms of society.  In hindsight, there was already a “mania for the ages” in progress (https://www.moviesmarketsandmore.com/a-mania-to-rule-them-all/), and what is a mania if not an alternate reality and a distortion of truth–in this case truth as value?  One source I trust cited a pandemic-induced surge in day-trading as a source of fuel for the markets (most day-traders play the “long” side only–they are buyers who follow an uptrend or  “momentum traders.”).  This surely helps to explain the near vertical rise in the S&P500 index

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IN THE COLLEGES where I learned and taught, students were required to write papers and reports to demonstrate their understanding of topics or concepts. The emphasis was always to support a premise or an argument using credible sources: facts and authorities, proven theories or accepted logic, studies, and experiments. The strength of a paper or report relied upon the foundation of existing knowledge–of Truth.  Almost all we  can point to as human progress is a result of the process of establishing what is True and then building on it. The structure of human advancement is a citadel atop a mountain of Truth. Certainly the leaps in sciences could not have occurred if we had designed our cars and boats and planes  based on how we

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  AT THE AGE of 22, my life path was given a shake when a roommate spontaneously recited a few poignant passages of a book he was reading. The title was The Day on Fire and the author, James Ramsey Ullman, had fictionalized the life of a great poet. Arthur Rimbaud was the enfant terrible of French Poetry; he was only 17 when he arrived in Paris, and by the time he turned 21 he had shocked the literary world.  He shocked my world, too. He wrote things powered by vision and imagination–and their impact was not overly weakened by filter of translation: As soon as the idea of the Deluge had subsided, a hare stopped in the clover amid the swaying bluebells, and said

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    “We have to live without sympathy, don’t we? That’s impossible of course. We act it to one another, all this hardness; but we aren’t like that really, I mean…one can’t be out in the cold all the time; one has to come in from the cold…d’you see what I mean?” “I can’t talk like this, Control. What do you want me to do?” “I want you to stay out in the cold a little longer.”                                         –Control and Leamas, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold   On Sunday, my favorite author died at 89 years of age. John Le Carre’, born David

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    [Author’s Note: I wrote this seven or eight years ago, before I moved back. Every time it snows during the night, I am reminded of this piece.]     I AM IN THE NORTH for a family visit. My elderly parents manage their simple life with a grace that humbles me. They could be threatened by the simplest acts. My minor setbacks would be their calamities: a fall, the flu, a minor accident driving to the store. Today they were mirthful and sweet and I could not decide if they were revisiting childhood or auditioning to become angels. Last month, I watched the movie “Amour,” an intense look at a couple managing change after half a century of life together (they managed it

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She is Winter      by William Hecht Deep December night and she is spent. She is consumed–like the fields after a greedy harvest. She slumbers—as does the world. Only her essence is sentient, aware. It is a spell: cast in the light of the great moon, it will break with the first rays of the equinox sun. Her hair is black. It is a wave of boreal night that flowed through the glass, swept down her  cheek, and spilled on a pale shoulder.  Things made of night are smooth–and softer by far than anything made from day. She dreams—as does the world–of light and warmth, of aromas and twitching roots, the vibration of launching sprouts: calls to life. If I could dream with her, I would

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