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The Editors | 09.18.08

Business

Greed and ruthless pursuit of profits to blame for banking fiasco

Keith Woolhouse, Ottawa Citizen [Read the Article]

This article gets Catholic social teaching right, and exposes the fallacy that 9/11 restored us to moral clarity: "'Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Lehman Brothers' fall is that it comes almost seven years to the day after 9/11... For all the talk of pulling together in the wake of the terrorist attacks that shook America to the core and supposedly set our priorities straight, Wall Street rushed headlong back to its mindless pursuit of profits and speculation without consideration for the consequences of its actions... At some point, society has to figure out that the way an investor earns his money is even more important than the amount of money he makes. This is why human beings were vested with moral sentiments, so they could distinguish the quality of human conduct from the quality of its results... It is incumbent upon the gatekeepers of capital ... to bring discipline to the system. This will require a rethinking of their priorities and a willingness to add to their investment calculus, considerations that exceed their own narrow interests about short-term investment returns.'"

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TOPICS:    crisis | greed | profit | wall street
(7) COMMENTS

By Seven Star Hand AT 09.22.08 05:50PM

Seven Star Hand

Greed and money are synonymous and the Vatican, Papacy, and Christianity are steeped in both. The Creator is sending us a stark and unequivocal message about humanity’s great follies !!!

Most people have no idea that the common-denominator math of all the world’s currencies forms an endless loop that generates debt faster than we can ever generate the value to pay for it. Those who scoff at this analysis have simply failed to do the math. Consequently, this civilization is verifiably based on purposeful and institutionalized deception, coercion, and exploitation. The time is long overdue to change the human equation and end the root causes of most injustice and suffering.

Here is Wisdom…


By jmedaille AT 10.10.08 03:31PM

jmedaille

there is one sense in which it is unfair to blame greed for the crises. The truth of the matter is that banks must lend money to stay in business. They would prefer to lend for productive enterprises. But for 30 years, the productive economy—the real economy of making things and services—has been on the decline. After all, we only produce half of what we consume.

But the banks still have to lend. So they lend for consumption, at exorbitant rates, and for speculation, which is a zero-sum game. One merely hopes that one’s own bank will come out on the right side of the game. What else can they do?

Our banking system is based on usury; that’s how we create money. If that is the system, it is a bit disingenuous to blame the banker for working with the rules he is given. They make a convenient target, but targeting them ignores the greater need to reform the system. Usury creates an unstable banking system, when that must borrow short to lend long. This is a recipe for failure, and the failures occur at regular interval. This is the third major failure during my lifetime, intermixed with a bunch of minor failures. This is the history of capitalism. Why is everybody so outraged each time it happens, as if each time was the first time, and not the continuation of the same old weary play?


By chassup AT 10.10.08 05:54PM

chassup

“RUTHLESS PURSUIT OF PROFITS ”  I wonder where the author would say the pursuit of profits goes from acceptable to ruthless.  Is 1% profit OK?  10%, 20%... or does he advocate no profits?


By jmedaille AT 10.10.08 10:56PM

jmedaille

Profits are “ruthless” when they are “work-less,” when they constitute wealth without work. That is what usury is. When the banks lend money for speculation, they pursue wealth without work, for speculation adds nothing to the economy; they collect a profit on a bet, and a bet only enriches one person at the expense of another.

By all means, let men wager if they will, but only their own funds. They cannot wager so as to put everybody else in their debt, and particularly not $700B in their debt.

By all means, let men profit as they will, if the profit is the result of real work which adds real goods and services to the economy.

By all means, let the banks prosper from sharing in due proportion in the profits of that work.

Anything above this is “ruthless.”


By chassup AT 10.13.08 03:09PM

chassup

Is it ruthless for a farmer to make $150 per acre for wheat this year after he made only $100 last year?

Is it ruthless for an artist to sell his paintings for $1000 when another can’t sell any?

Is it ruthless for a couple to sell their house for $500,000 when they only paid $150,000 20 years ago?

Do you think it’s ruthless for a man to gain through inheritance?

If it is ruthless for banks to charge any interest for mortgages, you do acknowledge that there would be no mortgages, right?  Do you think this could actually make real estate cheap enough that everybody could easily afford a home?  Would it guarantee that wheat would always be available at affordable cost?  Even during drought?

How do you define “banks prosper from sharing in due proportion in the profits of that work?”  Are you saying banks should underwrite an endeavor by purchasing a stake instead of lending?  Isn’t that just capitalism without a debt market?


By Robin1 AT 12.09.09 06:21AM

Robin1

Very important, time management and the creative flow. A great way to get into the creative flow is by utilizing time wisely concentrating through meditation.
Foreign exchange


By accountants leeds AT 01.06.10 07:43AM

accountants leeds

I anticipate these banks charge to deathwatch up and that appears to smell the coffee. They accept fabricated bad decisions and they charge to yield the rap. I’m abashed I accept no accord for these people. I doubtable Mr King’s position will be fabricated added pressurised by the applesauce of the Fed in absolution the American banks off the angle with their amount cut.


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