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February 13, 2015

LBJ Would Have Made a Great Trader

My recent reading list has included a second take on Robert Caro's biographical series on Lyndon Johnson. These books are a fascinating read, offering insight into U.S. history and the exercise of power. Many life lessons can also be drawn from these books (not the least of which is that an author need not have a grasp of the subjunctive tense to win a Pulitzer). LBJ was determined and intrepid in his quest for power and aimed at the Presidency as early as his teenage years.

One particularly intriguing quote about LBJ came from a contemporary during his stint as an assistant to Representative Dick Kleberg during the early 1930s. Johnson was described as follows: "I don't think Lyndon was either a conservative or a liberal. I think he was whatever he felt he needed to be. Winning is the name of the game. I have no doubt he could become either an ultra-liberal or an ultra-conservative if that would have brought victory."

Now, I am not sure such a propensity for change would work well in modern politics lest the politician be labeled as a hypocrite or flip-flopper. But re-read that quote, substituting "bull" for conservative and "bear" for liberal. Makes for a pretty good trading mentality, doesn't it?


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