Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday.

I've always found it interesting that the New York Stock Exchange closes on Good Friday. I didn't know that NASDAQ does too. And the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Being kind of the opposite of a money person -- I sometimes appear to act as a sort of money repellent -- I'd have no reason to know, really. But I'm glad they do.

It's not a federal holiday, and most of us have to work. So why are the markets closed?

Some say it's considered bad luck, although historically the few days the NYSE was open on the day were not bad investment days. It would seem to be courting bad luck when you consider Jesus's betrayer was paid in blood money, that Jesus had some general but strong rules about money (especially in the temple).

Apparently there's no simple answer to why the NYSE decided to close on the day, but when America was a more Christian and observant nation, the traders would have probably felt too solemn for the high-energy antics involved in wheeling and/or dealing. Or at least they had the sense to realize they ought to look solemn.

Reputations used to require more solidity. No one wanted to trust his money to a flibbertigibbet or a jerk who didn't observe the cultural norms. Thus, banks and insurance companies and investment firms had to have buildings that looked like churches. And money men had to at least look as if they took the death of their Savior seriously.

Now the buildings look like Lucite boxes and the jerk who breaks the cultural norms is A-OK, as long as he has the hot hand.

So it's kind of a nice, even quaint throwback that the markets in the U.S. close on Good Friday. I wish we were more faithful in our reasons for it, but you never know. As long as the holiday remains a marker for the market, it's a reminder that there are more important things than money.

And thank God for that, because I keep repelling it.

No comments: