May You Live in Interesting Times
I was just about finished flipping through the magazine when a drawing of a cartoonish
Chinaman caught my eye. He was squinting out from beneath a stereotypical paddy hat, next to the words "FIFTY PEARLS" screaming across the top of an advertisement in a weird font designed to look vaguely "Asian."
Freaky Fu Manchu, I thought, who approved this heinous advertisement? Malcolm Forbes? Why? And what exactly is the message he's trying to nail down here? Fifty Pearls of very digestible Capitalist sayings baked into "most fortunate cookies"?
Ah yes, things are becoming clearer now; the ad was from the November 17, 1980 issue of The New Yorker
. Clearly, it was a different time in America then. Commodities, such as gold and grains, were soaring, the Pittsburgh Steelers were Super Bowl champions, Chrysler was being bailed out by the federal government through loan guarantees and... wait, that's not different at all.
And yet, as we stand here just past the edge of economic annihilation (or so we are told) something feels deeply different. There's the sick feeling that perhaps the worm has turned. In the nearly 30 years since his Capitalist Cookies - the perfect holiday gift - were produced, capitalism in America has changed dramatically.
In the slideshow below, Minyanville takes a look at what fortunes today's Capitalist Cookies might reveal.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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