Thursday, May 7, 2009

Banks Fail Stress Test

According to the New York Times, the best and the brightest have failed the stress test.

How could this happen?

How could the best and the brightest lead us into such a mess?

Or, maybe, are they not the best and the brightest?

Are they just hyper-aggressive, risk-takers who could do no wrong in the laissez-faire Ronald Reagan/George Bush economy? When money was no object, unions were on the run, and for a time, everyone was feeding at the trough of spiraling profits?

If there's a lesson to be learned, let's quit worshiping at the altar of big biz - they're no smarter than anyone else, they have to put on their pants one leg at a time, and they're just as venal, shallow and sinful as the rest of us.

And perhaps it's the last word the befuddles us ... a word expunged from our vocabulary (sometimes with good reason), but a word that nonetheless captures the mystery and power of greed.

What's needed is a crash course in John Calvin's realistic take on things ... check out the following BLOG on Calvin who could have seen this coming:

John Calvin, the Protestant Reformer who was born in 1509, could have seen the global financial meltdown coming from a mile — or mere centuries — away. No, he wouldn't have foreseen derivatives or credit default swaps or the other financial instruments that would have given even Albert Einstein a migraine. But he knew human weakness. Indeed, we are entering a Calvinistic period in American life, one that is falling into line with the insights and innovations of Calvin. Although often depicted as a stern theologian with a pointed beard and strong views about eternal damnation, Calvin was interested in a wide range of issues far beyond the walls of the church, and his ideas reshaped the economic, political and educational life of the Western world. His perspective can benefit us today, in this time of political change and economic crisis.
We were childish in the worst ways ... so, as Paul wrote, "but when I became an adult, I put away childish ways."

Can we do the same?

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