The Weekly Quill — Cutting to the Chase

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Gauging the Limits of the Fed’s Reach

Before 1927’s The Jazz Singer, they had to cut to the chase. Such was the requirement to keep an audience engaged in the age of silent films. The absence of a soundtrack or spoken dialogue left the story to be relayed by clever set arrangements, camera movements, gestures and facial expressions. Of course there was romance as a hook (there still is). Pre-talkies, setting the stage entailed the universal ‘batting of the eyelashes,’ the melting and melding of two hearts, the entrance of the antagonist, the abduction of the heroine with said eyelashes and the climaxing moment when the director yells, “Jannings escapes…Cut to chase.” At least that’s how the tale was told by Joseph Patrick Mcevoy in his 1929 novel Hollywood Girl.

That is not to say chase scenes went the way of The General, the 1927 Buster Keaton smash hit produced on an unheard of $400,000 budget featuring not one, but two train chase scenes. No, the romance/adrenaline formula was then, and remains today, a Hollywood staple. Think of the classics that have capitalized on this proven recipe to movie goers’ delight. Any western aficionado worth their salt knows 1939’s Stagecoach set the standard. And hate to burst today’s cult following’s bubble, but the year was 1955 and the original film was The Fast and the Furious. Sequels are just that. Along those same lines are 1969’s The Italian Job and 1974’s Gone in 60 Seconds. Sadly, in a ranking of the best of all time, my personal favorite, 1998’s Ronin, only managed to capture the bronze while 1968’s Bullitt came in a close second to the crowned winner, 1971’s The French Connection. It seems racing pulses could be achieved even before computer graphics entered the scene.

While no damsel in distress enters today’s plot line, investors are nonetheless electrified at the Federal Reserve’s having cut to the chase. The Fed’s soul is no longer for sale. It’s been bought and paid for in full. Rather than feign naivete, let’s be adults and move past the Fed’s eventual move to buy equities. The stock market has. Rather, let’s ask more pressing questions.

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Danielle DiMartino Booth is founder and Chief Strategist at Quill Intelligence

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