The Pied Piper of Hameln

If you search on Google for the “Town of Hameln”, you are led to a website, which has a tag line: “The official website of the Pied Piper’s town”.

The story of the pied piper is very old. They say it happened in the year 1284, when the town of Hameln (also referred as “Hamelin”) was suffering from the menace of rats. A stranger claimed that he could get rid of the rats. The town mayor promised him a huge reward if he succeeded. The stranger took out his pipe and began to blow on it. Rats and mice came from all over the town. He led them to the river and then he walked into it. The rats followed him only to be drowned.

Successful in his mission, he came back to the town asking for his reward. The town elders thought the reward they promised was too large for the task. They offered him a small token amount or nothing. Angry, the stranger went away. In the evening, he came back with another pipe in his hands. He started to blow on it. This time it was not the rats, but the children of the town that followed him. He led them to a mountain nearby never to return.

This is known as the legend of the Pied Piper. Scholars debate whether the story is true. They argue over the cause of the disappearance of such a large number of children. The jury is still not out on whether it is possible for so many children to be led by just the music of a pipe. How is this possible?

The Pied Piper of Hameln came around 730 years ago, and we haven’t seen another one.

Welcome to the financial markets, where the pied pipers make frequent appearances only to lead many to the mountain of tall promises. Whereas in the pied piper story, the children disappeared, the modern day pied pipers (a.k.a. Ponzis) make money disappear.

#RidingTheRollerCoaster – 167


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