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Saturday, November 7, 2009

At St Paul's Cathedral: Bankers Speak!

When I visited St Paul's Cathedral in London, I headed for the basement, where I could see the famous statue of poet John Donne. This statue survived a fire at the original St Paul's.

Reading the financial news is causing me a lot of stress these days. And I really shouldn't do it. But I can't resist this tidbit from a brief article in The New York Times. Apparently a bunch of bankers were speaking at (??) the cathedral. I wonder if this was open to all worshipers or only for other bankers.

While not exactly Gordon Gekko’s “greed is good” speech from the movie “Wall Street,” Brian Griffiths, an adviser to Goldman Sachs International, said during a recent panel discussion at St. Paul’s Cathedral on “the place of morality in the marketplace,” that bonuses would encourage charity and lift the economy.

“We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all,” Mr. Griffiths said.

What would John Donne say? Well, he was the one who said "No man is an island."


Deja Pseu said...

OMG, that's just so wrong and so appalling on so many levels. Why don't we just return to the feudal system while we're at it? I mean, the nobles would never allow the peasants to starve, would they?

Duchesse said...

I am hardly going to defend such a transparent rationalization.

At the same time, if people think financial services professionals- in a system that allows them to earn zillions- are NOT going to ferociously defend their interests, they are naive.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Deja==I still shake when I read this! Thanks for commenting. Love your blog.

@Duchesse--Honestly, if I were this guy, I would be keeping a low profile. His comments suggest to me that he has no idea how he's coming off. I am very naive--'tis true.

Funny about Money said...

As I've been known to scribble on student papers: huh?

Kids say the darnedest things... Did you read the Times magazine yesterday, wherein Dick Armey is quoted as saying "I may think it's silly, but if people want to believe in death panels, it's OK with me."

Why not?