Felix Mendelssohn invented the genre Songs Without Words (Lieder ohne Worte), short instrumental pieces that were almost singable but contained no lyrics. Mendelssohn objected to a friend’s attempt to “put words” to them, since for him the meaning of the pieces was already crystal clear. He was right. In fact, a good deal of the power of classical music is that — like abstract paintings — the listener is left free to impute her own meaning to the piece.

In the same spirit, below are some figures that seem to express definite trends or turning points. But the meaning is left to the reader who might have a different interpretation. The titles, of course, are completely gratuitous.

*ICOR roughly measures of the inefficiency of investment: the lower the better.



Emmanuel S. de Dios is a professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines.