The Kurt Vonnegut Problem

Finny Kuruvilla
2 min video

Many of you will know Kurt Vonnegut. He was a celebrated novelist. His most famous book is called Slaughterhouse Five. I remember I had to read this book when I was in high school. It's a very vivid book.

He actually fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and he was captured there in Germany, and he was sent to a military camp in Dresden. The Allied Forces ultimately bombed Dresden, and when the bombing was over, one of his jobs was to gather the corpses of those who perished in the bombing.Slaughterhouse Five is basically a semi-fictional account of someone who has gone through an experience like that, and it's told in a very poignant manner.

Well, there was a biography that was written about Kurt Vonnegut that pointed out that while he became an ardent champion of peace, unbeknownst to him, he was actually investing in a major chemical company that was actually manufacturing napalm. So here we have on the one side, an author who is deeply passionate about raising concern, raising awareness about the horrors of war, trying to get people to consider, well, the gravity of what war represents, and trying to promote peace, and on the other hand, owning a company that's making napalm. I think this disconnect is very obvious here. This illustration of Kurt Vonnegut simply illustrates a problem that both investors and advisors have.


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Posted June 15, 2018
Finny Kuruvilla
Finny Kuruvilla

Finny serves as CIO and Portfolio Manager at Eventide.