This quote by John Sentamu, the Uganadan-born Archbishop of York and #2 in the Church of England, on the aftermath of the crash of 2008 and the subsequent recession and credit crunch:

“Mammon was given a pasting. We may go back up to where we were, in the belief that now the markets are becoming more stable, but I’m not sure people really trust that any more. We’ve lived in this libertarian time where choice was seen as important and the free market was important, and as long as you did it within the law you could do whatever you wanted to. It’s now beginning to dawn on people that choice isn’t all there is about life. My neighbour matters.”

See the rest of Sentamu’s interview with Stephen Moss of the Guardian here.

Sentamu’s quote chimed with “Eight Days”, James B. Stewart’s riveting account of the banking crisis on Wall Street in Sept. 2008, which appeared in the Sept 21, 2009 edition of the New Yorker Magazine, which reads with all the suspence of a page-turner, even if I didn’t understand the financial jargon (who did? wasn’t that the problem?). George W. Bush, a surprising hero in Stewart’s account, asks this of his financial advisors:

“How have we come to the point where we can’t let an institution fail without affecting the whole economy? Someday you guys are going to need to tell me how we ended up with a system like this. I know this is not the time to test them and puit them through failure, but we’re not doing something right if we’re stuck with these miserable choices.”

Sounds to me like Bush and the Archbishop are both recognizing, in their own way, that the emperor has no clothes.

Unfortunately only a precis of that piece is still available online (unless you want to buy a digital subscription to the NYT, which would be an excellent Christmas present for yourself or for someone you like).

0 Responses

  1. You continue to intrigue me, jgoreham. Runner, museum worker, gamer .. and you worked at York Minster. Very cool. Would like to here more about that some time.