Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mary Poppins & Father's Day

This Father’s Day weekend, I watched Mary Poppins with my son. Set in 1910, the film is especially appropriate for the holiday. And for the purposes of this site, it’s full of finance-related quotes.

When Admiral Boom asks Mr. Banks – “How are things in the world of finance?” The junior bank partner responds: “Never better. Money is sound. Credit rates are moving up, up, up and the British pound is the admiration of the world.”

Daniel Hannan and I pine for the old days. (

Actor David Tomlinson is wonderful in his role as George Banks and amazingly never sang professionally prior to the role. His enthusiastic portrayal of a proud banker is infectious. His descendants should have followed his lyric advice.

A British bank is run with precision.
A British home requires nothing less.
Tradition, discipline and rules must be the tools.
Without them? Disorder, catastrophe, anarchy!
In short, you have a ghastly mess.

A mess indeed.

Mary Poppins has the spirit of a budding capitalist, insisting of the next generation:

They must feel the thrill of totting up a balanced book,
A thousand ciphers neatly in a row.
When gazing at a graph that shows the profits up,
Their little cup of joy should overflow!

Strong banks, stable currencies, balanced books, and rising profits are so 1910, but Mary Poppins is a timeless film with an enduring message for all fathers.

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