What Happens When You're Too Big To Fail?

May 09, 2019

On Tuesday, I was hanging like every Tuesday in a wonderful bar of Beirut. I was drinking a beer near the double of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd’s guitarist). I started a conversation with him and we talked about Brexit: everyone is fed up with that. I don’t know if I was the only person to mention he looked like one of my favourite guitarist.

There’s a song from Pink Floyd that I like called “Take It Back” who has a beautiful passage where you think you’re flying so high that you’re a bird. That song has an interesting lyrical passage also: push something to the limit to see if it can break. In banking, this is called a stress test.

When you push something to its limit, there are interesting things happening. When it goes live, the behaviour is wonderful and everyone you meet recognises your talent.

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Could It Be Another Case Of Too Big To Fail?

The “too big to fail” theory asserts that certain corporations, particularly financial institutions, are so large and so interconnected that their failure would be disastrous to the greater economic system, and that they therefore must be supported by government when they face potential failure. The term has been used occasionally in the press.

Proponents of this theory believe that some institutions are so important that they should become recipients of beneficial financial and economic policies from governments or central banks. Opponents believe that one of the problems that arises is moral hazard whereby a company that benefits from these protective policies will seek to profit by it, deliberately taking positions that are high-risk high-return, as they are able to leverage these risks based on the policy preference they receive.

If you cannot fail, what’s the use in playing? Now let’s see who was sacrificed on the altar of “too big to fail”.

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This Could Be Chapter 11 For Everyone.

On September 15, 2008, the Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following the massive exodus of most of its clients, drastic losses in its stock, and devaluation of assets by credit rating agencies, largely sparked by Lehman’s involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis, and its exposure to less liquid assets.

Lehman’s bankruptcy filing is the largest in US history, and is thought to have played a major role in the unfolding of the financial crisis of 2007-08. The market collapse also gave support to the “Too Big To Fail” doctrine.

Sometimes I like to think of the chapters 11 of my life. And sometimes I shouldn’t have skimmed through the first 10 chapters. The name of the book is: “Physics is a dead end”. There’s so much more to life than a pretty face. And it’s called chemistry.

One of us is chained and nobody is free. This song shows that Lehman was a bad case of “memento mori”.

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What If We Cannot Fail?

Behind success or failure, there’s a method. How can I explain today the fact that I’m freezing and I need another map of my head? That’s because I’m trying to wake up the neighbours and that’s a bad idea! Thought I was born again and I started crying.

The Earth won’t let us alone: the Earth is rooting for us in the space race. Again that could be the message from the Ginkgo Biloba that survived 2 atomic bombs. I was chosen to make people realise we are under the same sun. Again, if the dirty old part of the city could shut up a little bit, we might finally go to space.

If you push the Earth too far, she might get rid of us. We are family under the same sun and the universe might be too big to fail.

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What Can This Song Do For Us?

Now while you listen to this song, imagine you’re flying high in the sky and maybe between stars and galaxies. Imagine you’re in a car and the zone is safe because the vehicle is equipped with asteroid deflectors. Remember Jupiter is here to protect us from bad cosmik debris. Without Jupiter there would be no Earth and maybe all the planets in our system have a purpose.

The basis of life is liquid water that appears when you’re in a habitable zone (a security zone). Now listen to the passage of the song around 3 minutes. Don’t you feel the great spaces here on Earth and in the universe calling you?

You don’t have to go to America and visit an old mesa. Forget about the neighbours and that stupid accounting job. Get ready for the space race because there’s no trouble: is our universe too big to fail? I don’t think so!

How does it feel to be too small to succeed? Behind success and failure there’s a method.

Nicolas Sursock

Nicolas is a musician. His work now focuses on digesting 10000 songs of jazz, blues, soul, rock, funk and electronic. He plays the guitar if he's not blogging!