What is the Kraken?

This is my very first blog post. I would like to use this opportunity, much too late at night, to answer a question that I think may be on the minds of anyone who ventures onto my humble site….What is the deal with the Kraken?

To answer that question, allow me to set a quick back drop. The Kraken is a mythical sea-monster originating in Scandinavian folk-lore. This creature was reportedly so massive that it could drag the largest known ships underwater, and it would be mistaken for an island if sighted above the water. Much like the biblical Leviathan, the Kraken was a creature of destruction, and represented nothing good for the sailors of antiquity.

So why am I naming my blog about financial markets after a gigantic sea-creature of ultimate destruction? Good question, and its mainly because of the poem from lord Alfred Tennyson, who describes the Kraken as a sleeping giant with near-infinite tentacles with near-infinite reach. Some more on that after a quick story…

One day I was talking to a colleague about a book I was reading about small business development, and said I was helping a friend who was trying to launch a start-up. She responded by saying “well you just have your tentacles into everything, don’t you?”

At first blush I felt a little put-off that I was told I “was getting my Tentacles into everything”, and (even though I am very happily married) it added a little extra sting to have that kind of comment come from a female, (“my tentacles? What the heck are you trying to say, Lady?”). However, it didn’t take long for me to get over my initial worry of getting slammed, and realize that it was just an expression meaning I had my hands in a lot of pots.

I extended that out to the Kraken as typifying the way I try to approach learning about financial markets: Read everything you can and work on increasing your intellectual and competency “reach”. In investing, everything is relevant, and all data can be considered in making decisions, therefore it stands to reason that you had better at least be literate in as many areas as possible. Just like the foxes and the hedgehogs of Isiah Berlin, who says that some thinkers are hedgehogs and burrow down into a topic and become the resident expert of that particular discipline, while others are foxes and jump around and dig a little in a lot of different areas. The problem with the hedgehog is the same one that faces the carpenter who only holds a hammer. All problems look like a nail!

So in a long winded way, that’s why I named this blog Kraken Capital Watch, because I try and spread my tentacles out as far as they can reach to devour as much information as possible.

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