What Would Jesus Do?

When it comes to money-changers, I think most readers will agree that Jesus had the right idea — he threw them out of the temple.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves.

— Matthew 21:12

President Obama likes to invoke Jesus when he claims that he wants to tax the rich.

From CNN:

President Obama offered a new line of reasoning for hiking taxes on the rich on Thursday, saying at the National Prayer Breakfast that his policy proposals are shaped by his religious beliefs.

Obama said that as a person who has been “extraordinarily blessed,” he is willing to give up some of the tax breaks he enjoys because doing so makes economic, and religious sense.

“For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,” Obama said, quoting the Gospel of Luke.

Trouble is, Jesus didn’t stuff his (spiritual) administration with money-changers, like Obama has done  — over twenty of Obama’s appointees have direct ties to Goldman Sachs. Jesus wasn’t the candidate of choice of Wall Street, either — in 2008, Obama received more money Wall Street than any previous candidate in history.

Just as Jesus cast the usurious moneychangers out of the temple, so we should cast them off the teat of public support. We already know what the problem is — the great global intermeshed web of debt, derivatives and payments that, if disrupted by a default can lead to a catastrophic chain of default after default after default that not only turns the entire system illiquid, but panics markets, resulting in crashes. Too interconnected to fail, but so interconnected that one bank failure can cause vast damage elsewhere.

This is simply not in its current form a self-sustaining industry.

The sad thing is that banking is a critically important endeavour. It is very important that people with drive and ideas can get access to capital, to realise their dreams, create new products and new innovations. Right now, our financial house is built on the sand.

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Christine Lagarde: “There is Still too much Debt in the System”.

From the IMF:

There is still too much debt in the system. Uncertainty hovers over sovereigns across the advanced economies, banks in Europe, and households in the United States. Weak growth and weak balance sheets — of governments, financial institutions, and households — are feeding negatively on each other, fueling a crisis of confidence and holding back demand, investment, and job creation. This vicious cycle is gaining momentum and, frankly, it has been exacerbated by policy indecision and political dysfunction.

And she’s right — but with debt-issuers not interested in taking haircuts how can we reduce total global debt? How about growth?

From Zero Hedge:

A brand new study released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with McKinsey (which is a must read if only for its plethora of charts which we are certain will be used and reused in thousands of posts and articles over the next year), finds that while global credit stock doubled from $57 trillion to $109 trillion in just 10 years (from 2000 to 2010), it will need to double again to an incredible $210 trillion by 2020 in order to provide the necessary credit-driven growth (in a recursive way, whereby credit feeds growth, and growth requires additional credit issuance) for world GDP to retain its current growth rate.

So the plan is additional debt, to fund growth, to pay down debt? How is that working out?

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