Let’s take a break from all the serious financial analysis for today and cover a more important topic. The name. A friend recently asked me where this silly name came from, and I realized that indeed, I have failed to explain it to you. I am amazed at your dedication to this blog even while such a vacuum of information existed. So let me explain.
I have always thought of the Mustache as a mark of seniority and old-fashioned manliness. Not the little silly mustaches you see sometimes, of course, but the big, bushy type that embarks upon some sort of adventure when it reaches the ends of the upper lip. A Senior Level Mustache might hang off both sides of the face, or it might zoom out into big crazy points or curls, or it might just bend around the mouth and continue straight downwards for as long as possible.
I’m not alone in this respect for the ‘Stache, as any number of videos like this illustrate:
When I was in fifth grade, I had this great teacher who had a black handlebar mustache. Good ol’ Mr. Sorge. He was my first male teacher.. scary and strict if you made him mad, but also hilarious and a great motivator. My handwriting to this day is still a copy of Mr. Sorge’s writing – a scratchy and compact font done entirely in capitals.
Then in the early years of high school, there was this teacher named Mr. Vail. He had a sideways-protruding mustache with lofty tips that could be seen even when he was facing away from you. He was also highly inspirational, making even advanced math classes very fun and humorous. That helped me enjoy math enough to become an engineer.
So when I think of an old-school Mustache wearer, I imagine this senior gentleman, perhaps a hybrid of Sorge and Vail and a bunch of other tough guys and bankers from old Western movies, walking down a prosperous street in New York City in the 1800s. The ladies have their eye on him, the dudes get out of his way in respect, and the mayor respectfully checks with him on issues of town policy. Now we’re up to the level of Mr. Mustache.
Then when you extend the concept to Adm Karpinsk, you imagine the same respectable guy, but with the added dimension of Financial Acumen. The top businesspeople and bankers ask his advice and invite him to meetings. Hardworking working class men and ladies come to him on the street to ask for advice on their family finances. Children run up to him and he swirls them around so their feet puff through the piles of autumn leaves, then he teaches them a few good jokes or perhaps a magic trick, and as he turns to leave he flips a few golden coins off the tip of his thumb, which land in each of their outstretched palms.. “Invest it wisely, children, and you can grow to be Mustachians as well!”
With a heroic character like that, AND the added bonus that Adm Karpinsk has all those nice ‘M’s, and you can abbreviate it to MMM or Triple M, and you can use ‘Stash to mix the meaning of Mustache and a Stash of money, AND the fact that ‘Stash rhymes with Cash. It just seemed like a fuckin’ perfect name… so perfect that it is miraculous that it even appeared in my head. In fact, it might even be that the name forced me to write the blog, just because I didn’t want it to go to waste.
So, yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Hopefully everything makes a little more sense now.