Invisible Earnings
PublishedNovember 24, 2012 CategoryBertie in Business

Invisible Earnings

No human heart, they say, can yearn
For what the eye does not discern;
Except, that is, down in the City,
Where the Invisibles Committee
Is stirred to hidden depths of yearning
By what we cannot see we’re earning.

And floating, as their name befits,
Unseen, above our deficits,
They conjure from the upper air,
Just like the man who wasn’t there,
Mysterious surpluses of trade
From products which were never made.

So, when the visibles are slipping,
Or sterling dangerously dipping
Into its periodic voids,
They calmly levitate from Lloyd’s,
Or unseen royalties and fees,
The means to raise us from our knees.

Thus, month by month, they float the nation
By acts of prestidigitation,
Materialising from the skies,
Below the threshold of our eyes,
The cure for Treasury dejection
By extra-sensory perception.

I close my eyes to get a fleeting,
Dark illusion of them meeting
With vague, impressionistic spasms
Of men outside their ectoplasms –
A chairman, and his ghostly members
With poltergeistic non-agendas.

And, opaque as the general scene is,
They pull, like latter-day Houdinis,
Before our eyes see what they’re at,
The earnings rabbit from the hat;
Then off! into the dark air gripping
Insurance premiums and shipping!

It seems the future of the nation
Is based on transubstantiation,
And economics of a kind
Where matter’s subject to the mind;
The laws of metaphysics rule
In spite of what they teach at school!

They do say there be passing strange
Doings at the Stock Exchange,
Where, disembodied at the table,
They’re non-corporeally able
To do extraordinary feats
With our invisible receipts!

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