Applying rural Appalachian mysticism to the markets

November 29, 2011  

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What do Wall Street and backwoods America have in common?

   
   Nicholas Colas
By Nicholas Colas


Every year, I drive to Memphis for Thanksgiving with my in-laws, a welcomed break from the day-to-day rigors of following the capital markets. Once you get southwest of Washington DC, essentially everything changes. The traffic thins out and becomes a combination of Ford and Chevy pickups and semis rather than the imported cars and SUVs of the East Coast. Roadside signs promote local restaurants rather than national chains. As you drive deeper into the South, huge white crosses note the location of local churches. You see an occasional freshly-killed deer strapped to a car roof or loaded in a trailer along with an off-road quad. The signs for local guns stores appear frequently on the side of the road. I usually stop at one or two along the way. The fellows behind the counter get a real kick out New Yorker visiting...

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