A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But would toxic hog waste?
In a summertime parody worthy of Jonathan Swift, Martin Fridson, chief high-yield strategist at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, drew a devastating analogy between the "new economy" paradigm and investing in "hogriculture debt."
"During the last millennium, many bold thinkers plunged into toxic hog waste and covered themselves with glory," Mr. Fridson wrote in a research paper, noting new technologies being developed to treat and recycle hog waste.
"Without question, we stand on the threshold of a New Era in Toxic Hog Waste. The high-yield bond market's megahog-farming component is ripe with the unmistakable scent of scientific progress," penned the erudite Mr. Fridson.
"Let others opine about the Internet abolishing all previously known standards of security valuation. In our view, the New Paradigm and toxic hog waste are synonymous."
Mr. Fridson probed new "staunch-the-stench technologies" including alternative fuel, heating and genetic engineering solutions.
Politicians cannot resist the topic's appeal. "With politicos knee-deep in toxic hog waste, the inevitable result has been a costly struggle to drill down to the bottom of the matter via governmental processes," he observed. Libertarians, however, have warned the government to keep its hands off the area.
"Toxic hog waste is unquestionably a magnet for the New Economy's best and brightest," Mr. Fridson concludes, noting former basketball star Rick Barry's promotion of a hog-waste venture. "High-yield investors who stay close to toxic hog waste, we firmly believe, will come out of this decade smelling like a rose."