Guest Post: The Age of Mammon

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

The Age of Mammon

“Financiers – like bank robbers – do
not create wealth. They merely distribute it. While the mob may idolize
holdup men in good times, in the bad times it lynches them. What they
will do to the new money men when their blood is up, we wait eagerly to
find out.”  - 
Mobs, Messiahs and Markets


As our economy hurtles towards its meeting with destiny, the
political class seeks to assign blame on their enemies for this Greater
Depression. The Republicans would like you to believe that Bill Clinton,
Robert Rubin, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank and their Community Reinvest
Act caused the collapse of our financial system. Democrats want you to
believe that George Bush and his band of unregulated free market
capitalists created a financial disaster of epic proportions. The
truth is that America has been captured by a financial class that makes
no distinction between parties. These barbarians have sucked the life
out of a once productive nation by raping and pillaging with
impunity while enriching only them. They live in 20,000 square foot $10
million mansions in Greenwich, CT and in $3 million dollar penthouses on
Central Park West.

These are the robber barons that represent the Age of Mammon.
The greed, avarice, gluttony and acute materialism of these American
traitors has not been seen in this country since the 1920′s. The hedge
fund managers and Wall Street bank executives that occupy the mansions
and penthouses evidently don’t find much time to read the bible in their
downtime from raping and pillaging the wealth of the middle class.
There are cocktail parties and $5,000 a plate political “fundraisers” to
attend. You can’t be cheap when buying off your protection in
Washington DC.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures
upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break
through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break
through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be
also. No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and
love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and Mammon.
Matthew 6:19-21,24

It seems that Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, may have
been overstating the case in saying his firm doing God’s work. With his
$67.9 million compensation in 2007 and payment of $20.2 billion to his
co-conspirators, Blankfein appears to be a proverbial camel trying to
pass through the eye of a needle. This compensation was paid in the year
before the financial collapse brought on by the criminal actions of
Lloyd and his fellow henchmen. After having his firm bailed out by the
American middle class taxpayer at the behest of his fellow Goldman
alumni Hank Paulson, Lloyd practiced his version of austerity by cutting
compensation for his flock to only $16.2 billion ($500,000 per
employee) in 2009. I’m all for people making as much money as they can
for doing a good job. But, I ask you – What benefits have Goldman Sachs,
the other Wall Street banks, and hedge funds provided for America?

Never have so few, done so little, and made so much, while screwing so many.

In 2005, the top 25 hedge fund managers “earned” $9 billion, or an
average of $360 million. One year after a financial collapse caused by
the financial innovations peddled by Wall Street, the top 25 hedge fund
managers paid themselves $25 billion, or an average of $1 billion a
piece. For some perspective, there were 7 million unemployed Americans
in 2006. Today there are 14.6 million unemployed Americans. While the
country plunges deeper into Depression, the barbarians pick up the pace
of their plundering and looting of the remaining wealth of the nation.
Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva pointed out a basic truth in 2007, before
the financial collapse.

“On the Forbes list of rich people, you will find hedge fund
managers in droves, but no one who made his money as a hedge fund
client.” - 
Mobs, Messiahs and Markets

Ask the clients of Bernie Madoff how they are doing.

1920′s Redux

The parallels between the period leading up to the Great Depression
and our current situation leading to a Greater Depression are revealing.
When you examine the facts without looking through the prism of party
politics it becomes clear that when the wealth and power of the country
are overly concentrated in the clutches of the top 1% wealthiest
Americans, financial collapse and depression follow. This concentration
of income and wealth did not cause the Stock Market Crash of 1929 or the
financial system implosion in 2008, but they were a symptom of a sick
system of warped incentives. The top 1% of income earners were raking in
24% of all the income in America in 1928. After World War II until
1980, the top 1% of income earners consistently took home between 9% and
11% of all income in the country. During the 1950′s and 1960′s when
Americans made tremendous strides in their standard of living, the top
1% were earning 10% of all income. A hard working high school graduate
could rise into the middle class, owning a home and a car.

From 1980 onward, the top 1% wealthiest Americans have progressively
taken home a greater and greater percentage of all income. It peaked at
22% in 1999 at the height of the internet scam. Wall Street peddled IPOs
of worthless companies to delusional investors and siphoned off
billions in fees and profits. The rich cut back on their embezzling of
our national wealth for a year and then resumed despoiling our economic
system by taking advantage of the Federal Reserve created housing boom.
By 2007, the top 1% again was taking home 24% of the national income,
just as they did in 1928. When the wealth of the country is captured by a
small group of ruling elite through fraudulent means, collapse and
crisis becomes imminent. We have experienced the collapse, while the
crisis deepens.

It’s Good To Be the King

The Wall Street oligarchs  were able to accumulate an ever increasing
portion of corporate profits by inventing securitization, interest-rate
swaps, and credit-default swaps which swelled the volume of
transactions that bankers could make money on. These products were
originally introduced as a means for corporations to hedge their risks.
Wall Street shysters chose to use their “creative” financial products to
build the biggest gambling casino in the history of the world. They
functioned as the house, siphoning off billions in profits, but then got
caught up in the hysteria and placed billions of bets themselves. This
resulted in the financial industry generating 41% of all business
profits in 2007. From World War II through 1980, financial industry
profits ranged between 10% and 15%. Simon Johnson explains the despicable hijacking that has taken place since then.

From 1973 to 1985, the financial
sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits.
In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated
between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the
postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as
dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial
sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all
domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181
percent in 2007. 

The original robber barons amassed huge personal fortunes,
typically through the use of anti-competitive business practices. These
well known titans of industry included Henry Ford, Andrew Carnage, John
D. Rockefeller, and JP Morgan. They may have practiced questionable
business ethics, but they did create wealth while benefitting the
country as a whole. They introduced the automobile, provided the nation
with steel, produced the oil that powered our economy, and brought order
to industrial chaos of the day. It seems their fortunes were built by
creating rather than destroying.

The disgustingly rich Wall Street wheeler dealers who live in
Greenwich CT and NYC and summer in the Hamptons have created nothing.
Their immense wealth has been created through draining the economic
system of its lifeblood. Their financial innovations have created no
lasting benefit for our society. Wall Street knowingly created no
documentation (liar loans) mortgage loans, Option ARM loans, and
subprime loans. You do not create products that beg for fraud unless you
want fraud. The packaging of these fraudulent mortgages into CDOs and
CDSs by Wall Street’s crime machine benefitted Wall Street only. Those
who got the loans defaulted, lost the homes, and had their credit
ruined. Wall Street financiers have lured the American public into debt
with easy credit and a marketing machine geared to convince the average
Joe that he could live just like the rich. Simon Johnson explained the phenomena in a recent article.  

“Excessive consumer debt is an
outcome of prolonged inequality – in trying to remain middle class, too
many people borrowed too much, while unscrupulous lenders were only too
willing to take advantage of such people.” 

You Call This Capitalism?

Capitalism is supposed to be an economic system in which the means of
production and distribution are privately owned and operated for
profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and
investments are not made by the government; Profit is distributed to
owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed
by businesses. The American economy is in no way a free market
capitalistic system. It has become a oligarchic consumer capitalist
society that is manipulated, in a deliberate and coordinated way, on a
very large scale, through mass-marketing techniques, to the advantage of
Wall Street and mega-corporations.

When you hear the Wall Street class on CNBC argue against tax
increases for the rich, they hark to the fact that small businesses
would be hurt most by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. There are 6
million small businesses in the US, with 90% of them employing less than
20 employees. These are not the rich. The vast majority of these
businesses earn less than $1 million per year. There are only about
134,000 people in America who make on average $2.5 million per year.
There are another 600,000 people who make on average $760,000 per year.
Out of a workforce of 150 million, less than 1 million rake in over
$750,000 per year. These are not small businesses. They are the Wall
Street elite, corporate CEOs and the privileged classes that control the
power in NYC and Washington DC.

The following charts clearly show that  perverse incentives in the US
financial system have allowed corporate executives to reap ungodly pay
packages, while the middle class workers who do the day after day heavy
lifting in corporations have been treated like dogs. Considering the
S&P 500, which measures the stock returns of the 500 largest
companies in the U.S., has returned 0% for the last 12 years, the CEOs
of these companies would slightly embarrassed paying themselves 300
times as much as their average workers. Not in the age of mammon. Big
time CEOs are rock stars. Outrageous pay packages are a medal of honor
in a world where humility and honor don’t exist.

The Depression that currently is engulfing the nation was 30 years in
the making. The criminal Wall Street financiers are the modern day John
Dilingers. They have mastered the art of stealing from the masses while
convincing these same people that they should admire them because they
are rich. This is the oddity about Americans as pointed out by Bill
Bonner and Lila Rajiva.

“The poor genuinely believe the rich
are better than they are. They are smarter and better educated. The poor
even support low tax rates for the rich, as long as they have a lurking
chance of joining them.” -   
Mobs, Messiahs and Markets

The truth is that the poor have no chance of joining the the rich.
The game is rigged. The poor have admired the rich for decades. But,
hard times have arrived. And they are about to get harder. The rich have
armed guards to keep the poor at bay. They will need an army of guards
before this crisis subsides.

Leonard Cohen sums it up perfectly in his song Everybody Knows:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

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tom a taxpayer's picture


We need Shock and Awe RICO prosecutions of the robber barons...mass trials in style of the Maxiprocesso (Maxi Trial) of the Mafia in Sicily during the mid-1980s that resulted in hundreds of defendants convicted.  

Rampant criminal activity of the robber barons must be attacked head on. We need coast-to-coast arrests from California Countrywide to Greenwich, CT to New York Goldman Sachs and every other part of the overlapping criminal enterprises, including the mortgage industry, the appraisers, Freddie and Fannie, Citi and the big banksters, the ratings agencies, the Wall Street investment banks, AIG, the federal co-conspirators at U.S. Treasury, SEC, OTS, and the Federal Reserve, especially FRBNY, and the members of Congress who aided and abetted the greatest financial crimes in U.S. history.

These overlapping criminal enterprises raped and pillaged the mortgage industry, ruined the housing market, destroyed the credit system, endangered federal/state/municipal financing, pension funds, and the banking system, caused massive unemployment, sent the economy into a downward spiral, endangered the world financial system, extorted the U.S. and the world to pay them billions in ransom or face the destruction of the world financial system and economy, and now are costing taxpayers hundreds of billions, even trillions of $.

The only thing that has any hope of stopping the continual rape and pillage of investors, pensioners, city and state funds, and taxpayers is to see the entire Wall Street RICO crime syndicate along with co-conspirators in the mortgage industry, the Fed, Treasury, SEC, and Congress arrested and perp walked in handcuffs to federal and state jails. Now. Not 2 years from now. 

We need RICO confiscations of the hundreds of billions in illegal "profits" from the criminal enterprises of the banks, mortgage industry, and Wall Street Mafia. We need  20 years-to-life hard time prison sentences. 

It takes only one prosecutor to investigate just one crime, and follow the money and the connected crimes, and bring down the overlapping criminal enterprises using Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) prosecutions.

The prosecutor who leads the charge against the robber barons will become a national hero. 

For a recap of the rampant criminality that begs for prosecution, see William Black's "Great American Bank Robbery":

William Black is author of "The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One".

Bill Black’s Top Ten Ways to Crack Down on Corporate Financial Crime

Uncle Remus's picture

Orange jump suits, pink boxers, boloney sandwiches and a big tent.

Bitches, bitchez.

IBelieveInMagic's picture

Now that the game is breaking down, honor among thieves is breaking out! As long as the global financial system with the USD as reserve currency was enabling the US economy scarf down the world's commodities, goods and services at throw away price and enabled folks at all strata to over consume thanks to phony jobs and easy credit, no one complained. But, the societal costs are now manifesting itself in the form of lost middle and low cost jobs while the creamy layers are continuing to benefit from keeping this financial game going.

Let us accept the fact that these distortions are a result of the reserve currency status of the USD -- as long as we have the reserve status, our economy will continue to bleed jobs.


FEDbuster's picture

Just like the mobsters, the banksters have bought and paid for politicians, judges, police (SEC) to continue their criminal acts without fear of prosecution. 

"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes... Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain."
- Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815

The rape and plunder will continue until the victims band together to stop it.  This will be the decade of "Project Mayhem".

grunion's picture

The elitists have only their own interests at heart. They will not rush to the rescue of their bretheren, weakened and falling under the force of angry "sheeple" (your moniker). They will scheme to abscond with everything they can during the collapse. They will not protect each other, just the status quo.

We can and will have a "come to Jesus" event with these guys and they will be humbled (if they are lucky).

FEDbuster's picture

Let the French Revolution be our guide.  I am looking forward to see some heads roll down Wall St.

knukles's picture

Bubba Loves Me
This I Know
'Cause the Warden
Told Me So

Uncle Remus's picture

Junked? Seriously? Don't get incarcerated in Maricopa County, AZ.

Cistercian's picture

That would be great, but the prosecutor who begins will find photos of himself having sex with a 15 year old on the front page of the New York Daily news.It does not matter if the official is clean or not...they will invent a story to destroy him.Which is why things are as bad as they are.They either install stooges or destroy the ethical in a relentless, vicious way.

  Once things really crater and the mobs begin to form the lackeys will betray their current masters to save themselves.This of course entails things really getting bad and does nothing to stop the robbery continuing right now.The criminals we have now are the most well connected powerful maniacs the world has ever seen.They own the government, and the government has means of coercion up to nuclear weapons.

 Underestimating how far these sociopaths will go to maintain their stranglehold is unwise.

 It is going to get ugly...very fast.

Homeland Security's picture

"... the prosecutor who begins will find photos of himself having sex with a 15 year old on the front page of the New York Daily news"   You mean like Elliott Sptizer? He went after the banks and the banks used the NSA/CIA/FBI financial tracking software to see where his money went. It prolly took some intern one microsecond to see that Spitz was bundeling his payments to Ms. Hotpants. The bundeling of payments to stay below the $10K reporting level is a crime. In fact, with "bundeling" there is no reporting threshold, they look at the series of transactions.

drwells's picture

Great, isn't it? Doing X is a crime. Not doing X is also a crime.

fiftybagger's picture

Or like Blago?  Everything was fine until he threatened BOA.  Next morning, Arrested.  Didn't see the media connect those dots did ya?

Alexandre Stavisky's picture

Season of Sorrow   Sire of Sorrow

Since life was breathed into the form of man, he has had to contend against the thorns and noxious weeds of Uneden.  And thereby, provide for his daily and future physical needs.  Organized and clever beings have cobbled the coordinated efforts of sons of men into a kind of form, an imperfect monetary system.  They have come to make material representation of the virtue/vice productions of any man and every man.  Gold, paper money, sovereign bonds, equities, pay stubs, scrips, oral IOUs--all are claims upon the virtues made manifest of men who toil by the sweat of their brow to make exchange with their fellow laborers of the fruits of this garden.

That this system of simple exchange of Virtue has been seized by evildoers and conspiratorial thieves is a tragedy.  But virtue and vice must coexist to know the gap which exists between them.  Never will the sweet be so sweet except by draining the bitterest of dregs from the bitterest of cups.

The present economic tumult finds the subtlest, wilest, connivingest on top, while the real benefactor has been tossed to the very bottom in the eternal wrestling.  Truly the tall trees have fallen.  But all the energy of this new "bottom" is to obtain.  To obtain whatever condensation of virtue can be had.  The present "innovators" and all those who discretely plunder through every human institution, the same as the gutter thief, attempt to procure that which they cannot obtain by blessing of heaven or exertion of muscle and mind.  This is why the nation's pulse (gov't) and purse (treasury) are the complete aim of malefactors.

To possess the robe, wand, library, and august gestures of the sorceror does not elevate the apprentice to the same station.

Having contravened the eternal laws, the punishment must be suffered.  Keynes or his counterparts are the merest of men. They seek to obtain all the fruits of wickedness without having to bear the equivalent punishment. Balance sheet accountant embezzling liars!  These worst of men (that deserve not to be even called men) wish to concentrate societal virtue into a bowl from which only they may drink while leaving the onerous burdens of bitter labour to their "lessors".  Love of money is the root of all evil.  See the money throughout the world...and money which thieves cannot break in to deprive.  Beauty, inheritance, abundance, personal virtue, decorum, peaceableness, contentment, charity, perfect proportion. "What man by taking thought may add a cubit to his stature?"  And then there is money (especially USD) which has so many doors by which depredation, chicanery, duplicity, artifice may enter.

Better is the man who at his greatest feasts, places a platter of unleaven bread and bitter herbs, to remind him of his unworthiness, his remind him of the great gap he must traverse to be numbered in the wisest of stars of heaven.

Better yet, when building his paltry domicile upon this poor, poor bit of dust in a wide universe; Man should do so with a foundation of the Seven Sorrows upon which should form Seven Pillars to then contain a screening framework to make some escape from the rain, dews, bitter cold of arbitrary nature.

Tell all the truth,

But tell it slant,

Success in circuit lies,

To great for our infirm conceit,

The truth's superb surprise,

As light'ning to children eased,

By explanation kind,

So truth must dazzle gradually,

Lest everyman go blind.

 The greatest of all is servant unto the least.  Real wealth is not ostentatious. He with the greatest true vbounty to bestow and who condescends in his journey from a high place will be greeted with ceremonial washing of feat (feet)...but he must also suffer the insufferable, with a crown of thorns to pierce him through.  To forego an inheritance so great, that the angels would guard against his dashing his foot, but to still allow to be born in a common animal stall.  To be pierced again, and scourged between two malefactors, suffering derision while above him heralds, "the king of the jews". Spewn out in disgust by just those seeking and marking the coming of a Messiah.  The Ultimate Betrayal.  Such it is to wear a Crown of thorns, shew beautiful feet.

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

To offer water to those who thirst, that they be forever quenched from a living well.  To lay the groundwork whereby heaven may supplant hell upon earth...conditioned upon obedience and repentence.

What, in all this, is greater than money.  Or is this money?  What man, for one sweet grape (or a short lifetime of stolen plenitude) would (the eternal) vine destroy?

Or what fond beggar (non-believer), but to touch the crown, would be with the sceptre strait, be strucken down?

But this is an irrelevant, shining artifact of the past.

And like just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

ElvisDog's picture

Am I the only one who refuses to read overly long posts? I'm sure you had something important to say, but with 137 left to get through I simply skimmed through yours. If you can't make your point in 2-3 paragraphs your post is like the proverbial "tree that falls in the forest when no one is around".

grunion's picture

It points out (beautifully, I might add) that being rich is no sin, money is bot sinful and corrupt.

It's the greedy bastards with the bankrupt spiritual bank account that try to fill it with money.

That a reckoning is at hand.

Perhaps a speed reading course would help to avail you of all the info you are missing as a result of your deliberate reading style.

Geoff-UK's picture

Well said--brevity is the soul of wit.

Dburn's picture

Here's my personal experience with law enforcement on white collar crime

" IPD"

"Do you have a white collar crime division"

"Yes we do, let me transfer you"


"Yes, I believe I have a case of embezzlement"

"sorry the police are not accountants"

"Pardon me?"

"We don't do accounting"

"Is this the white collar crime division?"


"Is that for like Waiters and Dishwashers?"

"No, but we don't do accounting"

"Uh isn't that like the heart of white collar crime?"

"Maybe so but we don't do accounting we are law enforcement. If you are able to hire forensic accountants and tie all up in a neat little bow with proof that goes beyond reasonable doubt, we may have probable cause to issue a search and seizure warrant"

"Did you work for the SEC when the guy handed the same in on Madoff and the SEC blew him off?"


"Glad my property tax dollars are so well spent"

Personal experiences may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction state to state and Fed district to Fed District but I can be reasonably confident in saying, it will never happen. Not in 20 of our lifetimes.

jeff montanye's picture

as through this life you travel, you meet some funny men.  some rob you with a six gun and some with a fountain pen.  (pretty boy floyd, woody guthrie)

UGrev's picture

  1. One 10 story building
  2. a mob of pissed off people
  3. and an open window
*GUILTY ....thud*
(rinse repeat)

New_Meat's picture

defenestration became in vogue when Paris buildings reached 3 stories tall. - Ned

VWbug's picture

you really get turned on by your dreams of mass murder don't you?

you should get some help, seriously.

goldfish1's picture

The prosecutor who leads the charge against the robber barons will become a national hero. 

Judges are in on the take.

Voting machines are owned.


B9K9's picture

Denninger, glad to see you on board @ ZH. Too bad you brought your myopic and painfully naive viewpoints here as well. Here's a simple heads-up that will hopefully serve to clarify the situation: The state is the criminal.

What you don't seem to realize, and continually kick people off your boards for saying, is that the chief enabler, organizer & beneficiary is the US government itself. They are the ringleader, the mastermind.

To paraphrase Voltaire, if banksters didn't exist, governments would have to invent them. They are simply a means to an end. The end is all encompassing government control, fueled by a global reserve currency backed by the muscle of the US military.

MachoMan's picture

Bingo.  Everyone thinks campaign contributions are to get favorable laws passed and to buy regulators, but why would you need to buy them when they would be forthcoming anyway?  They're really just tribute payments to mobsters more or less and/or direct tax (rather than tax that goes first into the general piggybank).

Further, they operate under the control and jurisdiction of the government, not the other way around.  Literally, instantly, the whole thing would turn around if the government desired.  Mass prosecutions...  etc.  Maybe even some treason charges.  But make no mistake about it, when the government decides to crack the whip, banksters cower and cringe.  Not the other way around.

Geoff-UK's picture

That's an academic exercise, since Barney Frank ALWAYS prefers being paid off, as opposed to becoming a national hero for sticking it to the banks.


Unfortunately, there are a lot more Barney Franks than Ron Pauls.

Commander Cody's picture

Agreed.  Government enables, banksters implement.

Bartanist's picture

I suppose I might have agreed with that if it was not for looking at US political assassinations over the years and finding that a common thread was opposition to the central banks of the US and Europe.

Also, maybe it is not so odd that the Euopean central banks prompted England to attempt to subvert, attack and overthrow the US three times: The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and then the Civil War. They had no reason to tray again after 1913 because they had already won.

And what was that Meyer Amschal Rothschild quote about if he and his sons did not want wars, there would be none.

No, if that is the correct interpreatation of Voltaire then I think Voltaire got it wrong. "The hand that gives IS always above the hand that receives." Maybe there is an essential symbiosis, but the bankers control the governments because people are fragile. 

aint no fortunate son's picture

You nailed it tom... nice comment.

Bearster's picture

This article is a confused mishmash.



P.S.  Faith has no place in discussions of markets, law, economics, or finance.

TimmyM's picture

To really understand how out of control the financial services industry is, sometimes it is good to step back and look at the big picture. While the free market profit motive is the only system that works, many of us individually are caught up in an irrational materialism. Perhaps you do not recognize this in yourself, and this blinds you to the author's point.

Uncle Remus's picture

Faith has no place in discussions of markets, law, economics, or finance

Uuuhhhhh - fiat. Hello...

RockyRacoon's picture

You have rendered the author of that drivel a beautiful shiner.

That would be a black eye to the younger folks.

dark pools of soros's picture

when the world is on fire, religion can sometimes be the only store of value

tmosley's picture

Put your religion in one hand, and your gold in another.

Religion isn't any more a store of value than gold is Billy Dee Williams.

Oquities's picture

religion is an attempt to codify morality, from a specific point of view.  it is not faith.  religion is like trying to carve a sculpture from  a morning fog.  faith is knowing the fog is there even after the sun has caused it to dissipate.

Homeland Security's picture

"Faith has no place in discussions of markets, law, economics, or finance."

Agreed - leave faith out.

merehuman's picture

the dollar is keeps it going. I giggle every time a shopkeeper takes my green papers and gives me real valuable shit.

Infuckencredible   yahoo, more green papers, roll another one

Bananamerican's picture

you don't get it Homeland.

Religions are ancient stores of human social WISDOM.

What do WE have now in this country top to bottom?

the ethos of Mammon.

i've considered the theme of this post myself many times in recent years

Temporalist's picture


"Religions are ancient stores of human social WISDOM."


Bananamerican's picture

it's obvious from your, uh, demonic laughter that you've never even cracked a Bible (for example).

I've read everything from Kierkegaard to Kerouac and the Bible is my "desert island" choice.

It has everything in it. Poetry, Mystery, Insanity AND Wisdom... and it NAILS man's nature...and that's just the stuff that the early church left IN.

We haven't changed over the millennia....and yes, the sins of Wall Street are in there as well, as are all the other foolish (self-defeating) practices of Man AND their correctives.

besides what kind of asshole types 22 characters of HA?

an unBibled asshole.

Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

Proverbs 26:12

Thou shalt limit ridicule or taunting over the internet to no more than 3 repetitions of any series of letters no more than 4 letters in length or though shalt be a newb or a f4g and the lord doth hates f4gs and newbs

cossack55's picture

I particularly like the social wisdom of destroying other cultures/religions in the name of your own selected G*d. More like ancient stores of hate and revenge.

drheywood's picture

If religion is an ancient store of human social wisdom, then I'd say it's fair to say the current financial system is a body of human economic wisdom.

strannick's picture


'P.S.  Faith has no place in discussions of markets, law, economics, or finance.'

If you mean we should have no faith in modern markets, law, economics or fianance, I heartily concur.

Otherwise, as Nietzche said, 'if there is not God, everything is permitted'. If thats what you meant, then quit bitchin and take it like a mouse.