OK, so maybe I am exaggerating a little. In the preface to Pricing the Future, author George Szpiro does what many of us only gnash our teeth about. Here is the excerpt:
At this point in the preface, it is customary to have thank those who helped in the preparation of the book. Here I must make an exception. One organization to which I can offer no thanks is the Institut des Actuaires in Paris. It is one of the very few places where the early volumes of the Journal des Actuares Francais are stored, which contain some articles pertinent to this book. Unfortunately, after I had been given the runaround for approximately half-a-year by an extraordinarily unhelpful secretary, it was only when my wife visited Paris that the articles could be copied. It took her all of fifteen minutes … apparently too much for an unwilling secretary.
Maybe Jimmy Fallon read that quote before his late night show last week. Here is one of his jokes, “France apparently passed a new law that makes it harder to become a French citizen. Most people just get lazy and give up. At which point they’re named a French citizen.”
Would the world be better if more of this happened? I don’t know, but I sure would prefer it. Oh, I should mention the book is pretty cool too. Did you know that the term salary originates from the term salarium, which described the pay of early Roman soliders: salt? I did not know that. I did know that salt bars were popularly used as money until the beginning of the 20th century in East Africa. My bet is that if you traveled there you might still see some in use. Better than the Euro?
Back to the point, should I offer up an observation like that? I think that would get you removed from polite company faster than typical. Stay tuned however, I will offer up a handful of observations in the coming months, it’s not like I have any friends to lose by doing it.