The Meaning of Life (3)

25 09 2008

The recent worldwide financial upheavals of September 2008 raises a variety of questions. I was sent a link to a major article about credit derivatives (do your own research!) which was a real eye opener. It prompted me to do a Google search for more information and the following was my e-mail response to the one who sent me the original document link:

Thank you for that – excellent and scary!  I have subsequently been looking elsewhere on the Net. What is even more scary is that there have been major concerns expressed for most of this year about CDs!!!!  This was all foreseen!!!!!!

The reply I received back was as follows:

I know – and the very worst thing about it all – when the whole global economy starts to unwind and taxpayers take the hit of huge government bailouts coupled with extreme (possibly even hyper) inflation levels, the one group of people who’ll remain unaffected by it will be the fat cat bankers who caused the whole mess and are now content to sit back and drive their Ferraris round the south of France whilst having their lifestyle supplemented by the 20 buy-to-lets they bought from their immoral sized bonuses since these type of assets won’t really be affected (in relative terms) by inflation…. Try explaining that to Joe Public who’s diligently worked 50 hour weeks in his job, saving for his nest egg retirement and that’s now going to wither away due to the extreme levels of inflation we’re all about to suffer….

I have heard or seen on radio or TV a variety of city brokers all justifying why they are there “to make money”. That, I have a feeling, we could sympathise with if they were making money in the same way as the guy who drives an ice cream van, or runs his own Garden Centre or whatever else – where reasonable profits are acceptable. As my correspondent pointed out, the problem with the banking world is that it is so vital to the economy that if it goes down the whole economy goes down (so some say – time will tell perhaps) and so Governments will bale them out – and they still talk about big bonus payouts but now they are paying out with MY money – and I object.

Now I could go down the path of Government intervention to stop this happening again, but others are already doing that. No, for this site, the key considerations have got to be moral. I have commented before on this blog that today’s moralist actually says that “It is all right if it feels right” which I suspect is the mantra of the city broker making a fortune out of (or even creating) others’ misfortunes. As I also previously commented, the truth is that we really don’t believe that because as soon as we are done down by someone else or some other grouping in society (bankers?) we shout, unfair!

So what we have recently seen (and many of us prophesied this meltdown, and the sub-prime property fiasco, at least two years ago) is a large and diverse group of people (because it wasn’t only bankers!) being utterly negligent for their own self-serving purposes. BUT here’s the crunch: if you don’t believe in any Final Arbiter of moral standards (God) then you have nothing on which to base your ‘opinion’ that this was a moral wrong. If you start from the standpoint of belief in the God of the Bible, then you can say, these people were morally guilty and God will hold them answerable, because the Bible is quite clear about exploitation by the powerful that creates injustice. Why? Because God says He is concerned for all people and holds us accountable for the way we live out our lives and if that involves exploiting others, then you’re in trouble. The broker retreating to his nest egg WILL still be accountable, even if he thinks he isn’t. Just watch his space.

But remember, the issue in this ‘meaning of life’ discussion, goes right back to the beginning, your starting place, which determines whether you really do have any grounds to complain. Think on it. I’ll comment further later.

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