Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: A rolling stone gathers no moss
A rolling stone gathers no moss is a proverb.
It is often credited to the Sententiae of Publilius Syrus, and roughly translates as
People always moving, with no roots in one place, avoid responsibilities and cares.
The television show MythBusters ran an experiment over the course of six months and managed to prove that a rolling stone does, in fact, gather no moss.
Questions as to its provenance
The saying may not be authentic to Syrus; the Latin form usually given, Saxum volutum non obducitur musco, does not appear in the edited texts of Publilius Syrus, but it does appear in the Adagia (first published in 1500) of Erasmus.
The conventional English translation appeared in John Heywood’s collection of Proverbs in 1546. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable also credits Erasmus, and relates it to other Latin proverbs, Planta quae saepius transfertus non coalescit, or Saepius plantata arbor fructum profert exiguum, which mean that a frequently replanted plant or tree (respectively) yields little fruit. It appears that the original intent of the proverb saw the growth of moss as desirable, and that the intent was to condemn mobility as unprofitable. The contemporary interpretation has turned the traditional understanding on its head.
Erasmus’s proverb gave the name “rolling stone” to people who meet this description.
WHY BAKER’S DEBT PLAN WON’T WORK
Treasury Secretary Baker is asking banks to increase lending to Third World countries. He ignores the awful truth: the countries already owe too much. The only logical solution—a painful one—is for the banks to own up to some big losses on their loans.
By Carol J. Loomis
December 23, 1985
Instead, the drill is repeated restructurings of the debt, which means stretch-outs and rollovers (a banker’s term inspiring the quip “a rolling loan gathers no loss").
14 March 1986, Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution, pg. B11:
As one banker observed, “a rolling loan gathers no loss.”
International Banking and World Economic Growth:
The Outlook for the Late 1980s
By S. K. Kaushik, Pace University Institute of International Banking
Published by Praeger
In my banking days we always reminded ourselves that “a rolling loan gathers no loss.”
21 July 1987, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Banks Wise to Bite Bullet on Loans” by A. Gary Schilling, section 4, pg. 3:
As they say in the financial community, “A rolling loan gathers no loss.”
A Bird’s Eye View
By Madeline M. Bird, A. V Bird
Published by Queensland Braille Writing Association
“... is repeated restructuring of the debt, which means stretch-outs and rollovers ( a banker’s term inspiring the quip ‘a rolling loan gathers no loss’ )”.
4 April 1988, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Loan Punster Rides Again,” section 4, pg. 1:
Explained Rutland: “A rolling loan gathers no loss.”
Whitney: Credit Crisis Will Run Into 2009
Liz Moyer, 05.20.08, 11:47 AM ET
The first wave of the crisis affected trading books, but the second wave will hit lending. This is because consumers got accustomed to the same “a rolling loan gathers no loss” mentality, Whitney says. As long as housing values continued to rise, borrowers could refinance in perpetuity to avoid default.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Wednesday, October 08, 2008 • Permalink