The Cypriot deal and Wiener-type obviousness

So it looks as if all the insured depositors get paid in full, and all the uninsured depositors, including lots of Russian mafiosi, are left sucking wind. That seemed like the obvious solution to me, but I was fully aware of my ignorance of what might else be in play. Now that it’s happened, I wonder whether the previous proposal was just a head-fake to make the necessary resolution more palatable on the island.

All of which reminds me of my favorite Norbert Wiener story. (Whether canonical or apocryphal, deponent saith not.)

It seems that Wiener was lecturing, and skipping – as was his wont – about four out of five steps in every demonstration. At one point he said “And therefore it’s obvious that … ” and wrote a string of symbols on the board. He then started to add “Thus we see …” when some thought brought him up sharp. He stared at he board for a few seconds, said, “Wait! Is that obvious?” stared at the board a while longer, said “Excuse me for a minute,” and left the room.

Twenty-five minutes later Wiener returned, drenched in sweat, with his necktie loosened, his collar unbuttoned, and clutching a sheaf of papers covered in scrawled writing.

Coming once again to the front of the room, he turned to the class, said, “Yes, it was obvious,” and resumed the proof of whatever he’d been proving.

No doubt my first instinct was “obvious” only in that extended sense. Any reader with actual expertise is invited to elucidate the problem.