Friday, February 12, 2010

Pot Calls Kettle Black

The archbishop of Canterbury was the "headliner" at three-day conference called “Building an Ethical Economy,” sponsored by Trinity Church within a stone's throw of Wall Street. One of the Most Rev. Rowan D. Williams' quotes from the NY Times caught my attention. First were references to his measuring wealth in one's meaningful relationships rather than in material goods. So far, so good. Then:

And he said he opposed what he called “the logic of some kinds of capitalist practice that leads to the invention of more and more recondite, metaphysical, unreal forms of wealth” — a reference to derivatives — that may look good on paper but “correspond to nothing.”

Excuse me, but what relationship is more recondite, metaphysical or unreal than the one the Church has invented between the mortal and the divine? Would he share the same conclusion about this relationship? Despite decades of intense study, this relationship remains largely a mystery to me and, I dare say, to most mortals. That said, derivatives obviously remain a mystery to the archbishop.

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