RJH pens a "What if..." feature.

Moderator: Gentlemen, let's kick this off. Sigmund, let's start with you.

Sigmund Freud: Vell, Sviss, it is my belief zat ze yield curve may be regarded as the financial representation of investor's neurosis and its very construction reveals strong erotic roots. Initially strongly aroused, it stands erect and positive.

Swiss Toni: Ah, yes. It's obviously closely related to investing in equities. Which is, of course, really very much like making love to a beautiful women. You have to be able to look beyond the upfront sales data usually thrust out so invitingly and truly appreciate the assets. Take time to carefully explore and tease these out. Some may be hidden, so explore lovingly every nook and cranny of the accounts. Make sure you can live with any kinky off-balance sheet arrangements you might discover. Once fully aroused to its potential then - and only then - enter into and consummate the transaction with great gusto.

SF: Yet, Sviss, as ve find vith all neurotics, having "let ze monkey out of its cage" as you might say, investors detach their libidos with unending vissitudes surrounding their confabulated "is this still profitable?" thoughts. Zey turn their emotional cathexes into demons.

ST: Uh, quite, quite. But you know, Sigmund, investors are so often duped, strung-along and then jilted by cold hearted CFOs. It's hardly shocking they entertain doubts about their investments, is it?

SF: Vell, Sviss, zey also dupe themselves. This can be seen ven ze yield curve flattens indicating a divergence of investors' ego and super-ego. In fact, a sense of guilt begins to strain ze relationship between these egos. Eventually, ze point arrives at vich guilt and inferiority become entangled and ze yield curve inverts and takes the shape of an atrophied penis.

ST: [Pause] Never experienced that myself, of course. Man of vast todger reliability.

SF: Sviss, it's an universal theory. Your denial is merely a self-defence mechanism. Please, I can help you. Tell me about your mother.

Moderator: Ah, OK. The open beckons which is a natural point to draw this discussion to a close. Thanks so much to both of you and I hope you'll be listening in next time when Maximus of Gladiator fame, Mother Theresa and Don King debate the topic "Are integrity and profit-maximisation compatible?"

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