Friday, March 30, 2007

The Daily Hump: Amaranth

Amaranth Advisors was an American hedge fund that imploded a few months back by betting that 2006 would be the year of another Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately for their investors, this didn't happen and they proceeded to lose $6.5 BILLION (see DealBreaker for more info).

Amaranth is a genus of annuals (also know by the romantic name pigweed) which consists of clusters of red flowers. In Greek mythology it was the flower that never faded (irony alert) and generally typified immortality in everything from Aesop's Fables to Milton's Paradise Lost. The flower/weed was sacred to the cult of Artemis, goddess of the hunt, which is funny because the surname of the trader who ultimately sank the Amaranth hedge fund was Hunter. Go figure.

In Greek amaranth literally means "everlasting", a- being the common prefix meaning "not" and marainein meaning "to wither". The ending -th was undoubtedly influenced by Greek flower names which generally end in -anthos, "flower".

amaranth [AHD]
amaranth [Online Etymology Dictionary]
amaranth [OED]
amaranth [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 8:23 AM


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