Monthly Archives: September 2008

Treasury and Fed Looking at Other Options

Robert A. Dye, chief economist at PNC Financial in Pittsburgh, said those efforts amounted to patchwork solutions and had thus far failed to bolster confidence in credit markets.

“The problem is that these are just a series of ad hoc solutions on a business-by-business basis, and they aren’t addressing the systemic problems in any basic way,” Mr. Dye said.

But other analysts said that credit markets around the world were almost entirely dysfunctional on Monday morning, when political leaders and investors alike assumed that Congress had reached a firm deal and would easily approve the bailout.

“It’s our view that this package, in a fundamental sense, will not solve the problem,” said Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Johnson said that he had been hoping that the bailout plan would simply stabilize the markets through the presidential elections in November, but that he was now pessimistic about even that.

Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, an investment firm in Greenwich, Conn., said the Treasury’s bailout plan might have even unnerved many investors.

“I don’t see how it can help banks unless it’s clear that the government is going to buy these assets for substantially more than they are worth right now,” Mr. Darda said. “It’s such a big step in terms of government influencing the private sector, and it’s hard for investors to take a leap like that overnight, especially when they don’t know what’s going on.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General

Mark Pinsky: Science and faith, the British way

As a religion writer with a growing interest in science, I’ve wondered how science/religion tensions play out in other cultures. On a recent fellowship at the University of Cambridge, scientists I met did not fit the stereotypes common to American popular culture.

While impossible to quantify, a surprising number of prominent British researchers at the pinnacle of their fields, with worldwide reputations in the physical and biological sciences, proclaim their evangelical Christian faith. And they are not perfunctory adherents, merely showing up for Sunday worship; they believe in acting on their beliefs. Some have taken up weekend pulpits.

Their roster includes Sir John Houghton, former head of the United Kingdom’s Meteorological Office; Sir John Polkinghorne, a particle physicist, Anglican priest and author of numerous books on science and religion; Sir Brian Heap, a biologist; geologist Robert W. White and paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris. I asked these scientists the sources of their belief, and the answers they gave me were intriguing to someone who for years has been more immersed in the world of American evangelicals, where I frequently found that hostility toward science seemed to be the norm in public controversies. These Brits cited a disparate mixture of empirical scientific evidence and the veracity of Scripture for their Christianity, based equally on science and faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., England / UK, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

Kendall Harmon: My Two Cents on Yesterday's Failed Vote on the Economic Rescue Plan

This reminds me of a church capital campaign where the rector rallies a reluctant majority of the vestry behind it, but not the parish.

First, it matters. There really is a lot at stake here.

Second, there have been mistakes by all involved. The Bush administration has done a poor job of explaining this problem to the average citizen. They are not making enough reference to the credit markets (true even of the President this morning). Nancy Pelosi’s speech right before the vote was highly unhelpful (she did better later in the day after the vote failed when she sounded a more conciliatory note). The process by leaders from both parties in the house was too rushed and left too many feeling not only unheard but in many cases ignored. The Republicans should have done a better job of communicating to other leaders about how soft the support from their constituency really was.

But the American people were against this plan. That is one of the central reasons it failed.

Democracy is messy, but the process is set up the way it is for a reason. If something this important doesn’t have a majority of the country behind it, it doesn’t deserve to pass. I hope everyone does better going forward from here–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall

Lehrer News Hour: Rescue Bill Failure Shocks Wall Street

MARGARET WARNER: And, Jeanne, in fact, we only had 60 percent of the Democrats vote for it, 40 percent against, and only a third of the Republicans. That’s a pretty wide repudiation. What do you think happened? What was behind this?

JEANNE CUMMINGS, Well, I think we had a combination of things going on. We had — ideology was a problem. This was totally against where some of the free-market Republicans would ever want to be.

We had politics at play here. Many of these no votes came from members who are in tight races. And they are really going to need the base to come out.

And I was hearing that their calls were like 99 percent to 1, you know. It was the local community bankers who were saying, “Please do this, because we’re next.” But otherwise it was very negative public response to this.

And then, of course, we had some partisan petulance. I mean, it was sort of Washington at its worst. It was a really toxic mix.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

NPR's Marketplace: What happened? And what's next?

[Kai] Ryssdal: What was it about this bill you didn’t much care for?

[Peter] DeFazio [a democrat from oregon in the House]: Well, I thought the whole premise on which it was based was false, but somehow if the taxpayers borrowed $700 billion and took a bunch of bad debts from Wall Street, that this would bring about liquidity and then ultimately would somehow filter down help Main Street, help housing, help the basic economy. But beyond that, we’ve heard from William Isaacs, head of the FDIC. He ran it during the last, previous greatest financial crisis in the history of America, savings and loan, and he said a couple of simple steps could deal with the bank liquidity issue.

So I think there are practical proposals out there that just weren’t heard. And in addition to that, Paulson didn’t at all get, in my mind, to the underlying part of the economy — the problems in housing and the declining housing market. There are credible economists who said: Hey, if you don’t deal with housing, you may be taking care of this week’s bad securities, but guess what? Next week, if housing goes down another 5 percent, there’s gonna be a whole batch more bad securities out there. You’ve gotta deal with the underlying problems in housing and the underlying problems in the economy.

Read (or listen to) it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Libor Surges Most on Record After U.S. Congress Rejects Bailout

The cost of borrowing in dollars overnight surged the most on record after the U.S. Congress rejected a $700 billion bank rescue plan, heightening concern more institutions will fail.

The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, that banks charge each other for such loans climbed 431 basis points to an all-time high of 6.88 percent today, the British Bankers’ Association said. The euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor, for one-month loans climbed to record 5.05 percent, the European Banking Federation said. The Libor-OIS spread, a gauge of the scarcity of cash, advanced to a record. Rates in Asia also rose.

“The money markets have completely broken down, with no trading taking place at all,” said Christoph Rieger, a fixed- income strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt. “There is no market any more. Central banks are the only providers of cash to the market, no-one else is lending.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

USA Today on yesterday's failed vote: At critical moment of crisis, irresponsibility wins the day

This is standard politics, but perhaps both could hold off on the blame game until a solution to the immediate crisis is in place. There’s still plenty of time to argue about who caused what, but not much time to keep the economy out of crisis.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Doug Leblanc: Christ's church will not merely survive; it will prevail

Further, when Christians take different sides on theological questions, we cannot all be correct. At the Last Judgment, we all will know God’s truth with the greatest clarity. Until then, we can — we should — be more alert to how our fellow Christians may be serving God and what we may learn from them.

Another Lambeth Conference has convened and adjourned. Does anyone doubt that most of the tensions within the church will persist in the months and years ahead?

I’ve often fallen prey to a false assumption that conflict — whether in my marriage or in the church — is an inherent evil. I live as a better Christian by remembering this advice from premarital counseling: Conflict is not the problem.

It’s in how we respond to conflict that we practice the presence of God — or the presence of hell. Where do I prefer to dwell in that moment? For what eternal place am I preparing my body and soul?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Conflicts, Theology

No quick end to gas shortage in Southeast

A storm-related gas shortage in the Southeast that has left some places bone-dry and others with two-hour gas lines is expected to continue for at least another two weeks, energy experts and industry officials say.

The shortage began two weeks after Hurricane Gustav hit the oil-refining regions of the Gulf Coast on Sept. 1. Operations that shut down before that storm were just coming back online when Hurricane Ike hit, forcing another shutdown. The gas shortage, now in its third week, is particularly acute here in sprawling Atlanta, in Nashville in parts of the Carolinas and in Anniston, Ala.

“I don’t go anywhere once I find some and get my tank filled up,” says Alicia Woods, 32, who waited 45 minutes to fill up Sunday morning at a QuikTrip in Cobb County, Ga. “Going out, visiting friends, all that just has to wait. I have to keep my gas for getting back and forth to work.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources

Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains 8-Point Lead

The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update, based on Sept. 26-28 polling, shows Barack Obama with a 50% to 42% lead over John McCain, unchanged from the prior report.

Read the rest.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Telegraph: Barack Obama's team believes he can win by a landslide

But his aides are convinced that he has a strong chance of winning no fewer than nine states won by George W.Bush in the closely contested 2000 election, including former Republican strongholds like North Carolina, Virginia and even Indiana, which have not voted Democrat for a generation.

David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, said last week that Obama had “a lot of opportunity” in states which Mr Bush won four years ago.

But in private briefings in Washington, a member of Mr Obama’s inner circle of policy advisers went much further in spelling out why the campaign’s working assumptions far exceed the expectations of independent observers.

“Public polling companies and the media have underestimated the scale of new Democratic voters registration in these states,” the campaign official told a friend. “We’re much stronger on the ground in Virginia and North Carolina than people realise. If we get out the vote this may not be close at all.”

I confess I was surprised to see this as I think it will hurt the Obama campaign. In any event, read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

LA Times: Robert Kuttner and J.D. Foster debate the Economy and the Bailout Bill

What should Congress do now?

First, rescue the money markets and the toxic securities by refinancing the underlying mortgages — rather than bailing out the banks. In the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt’s Home Owners Loan Corp., a branch of the government, refinanced one out of every five mortgages. Roosevelt’s administration saved about 1 million Americans from foreclosure. No middlemen got rich.

If we can stop the wave of foreclosures, we brake the collapse in housing prices. The bondholders would get bought out at so many cents on the dollar, just as they would have in the Paulson plan. But with the Kuttner plan, homeowners are the primary beneficiaries. Under Paulson’s approach, the bondholders get bailed out but many homeowners still lose their home or keep paying Mafia mortgage rates. It’s just what you’d expect from a guy who still operates as if he were the chief executive of Goldman Sachs — which Paulson once was.

Second difference: The government should take over failing banks directly and get rid of toxic executives as well as the toxic investments they made.

Read both pieces carefully.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Welsh Church ”˜will not cater for traditionalists’

The Church in Wales will not appoint a new “flying bishop” for traditionalists, Archbishop Barry Morgan said on Sept 17, saying the position was no longer necessary nor was such a post consistent with Anglican ecclesiology. Those opposed to the ordination of women still had a place with the Church in Wales, he said and asked traditionalists to trust the bishops to look after their interests.

The decision comes as a repudiation of the work of Dr Rowan Williams, traditionalists charged, as the former Bishop of Monmouth was instrumental in creating the post of “flying bishop” 12 years ago, and marks a hardening of positions in the Welsh Church.

Traditionalist leaders took little comfort from the bishops’ assurances of continued support. The Rev Alan Rabjohns, Chairman of Credo Cymru, Forward in Faith Wales said “this is a disappointing and sad statement.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

U.S. Roman Catholic Bishops offers 5 keys to end the Financial Crisis

The first key Bishop Murphy encouraged was taking into account the “human and moral dimensions” of the crisis.

“Economic arrangements, structures and remedies should have as a fundamental purpose safeguarding human life and dignity,” he affirmed. The prelate said a “scandalous search for excessive economic rewards,” which gets to the point of exacerbating the vulnerable, is an example of “an economic ethic that places economic gain above all other values.”

“This ignores the impact of economic decisions on the lives of real people as well as the ethical dimension of the choices we make and the moral responsibility we have for their effect on people,” Bishop Murphy wrote.

Second, the New York bishop called for “responsibility and accountability.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Bishop Jack Iker: 10 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Realign

Our 26th annual convention is approaching, and a momentous decision is before us as a diocese. At last year’s convention, your clergy and elected delegates voted by majorities of around 80 percent each to remove language in our Constitution that affiliates us with the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC). This year, clergy and delegates will be asked to ratify that decision to separate.

“Why now?” someone might ask. “Why is this the time for our diocese to separate from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and realign with another Province of the Anglican Communion?”

Here are a few of the thoughts that come to mind:

1. This is God’s time ”“ our kairos moment ”“ and it has been coming for a long time. We believe that God the Holy Spirit has guided and directed us to this particular time and moment of decision. Some might well ask, “Why has it taken us so long to take definitive action, given the past 30 years of the shenanigans of The Episcopal Church?” We have explored every avenue and exhausted every possibility. Now is the time to decide to separate from the moral, spiritual, and numerical decline of TEC.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

Checking in on the Ted Spread

The difference between what banks and the Treasury pay to borrow money for three months looked like this today:

Even higher than last week, higher than 1987.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

A (London) Times Editorial–Banking crisis: a Dangerous Moment

The problem for Washington was that all of this seemed far from the daily lives of American citizens. Congressional leaders came hard up against the “no blank cheque” mentality of ordinary Americans already under pressure from the collapse of the housing market and the down-turn in employment figures. Barney Frank, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, put the situation succinctly: “It is hard to get political credit for something that has not yet happened.” This helped Republicans to argue that economic freedom means letting businesses go to the wall, conveniently ignoring the likely consequences. Congressmen of both stripes were also irritated by what they saw as Mr Paulson’s excessive demands for authority. Not everyone was attracted to the idea of Mr Paulson as de facto President.

A second aspect of the problem is that this is 2008, not 1929. Events in global markets move at internet speed. It took more than six months to pass the legislation to set up the Restoration Trust Corporation in 1989, and that was not an election year. This week alone has marked the bailouts of banks in six countries. It took seconds from the congressional vote for the Dow Jones to start falling. The fallout will be felt globally, but the world was looking to America for a solution. If America’s elected representatives do not realise the potential damage they have caused, they need to think again ”“ fast.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Gerard Baker–Analysis: bailout vote calls Hank Paulson's bluff

For the second time in less than a week, Washington has thumbed its nose at Wall Street and in the process might just have brought the global financial system to the brink.

The defeat of the $700bn banking bailout plan by the House of Representatives today was a much larger and more stunning blow than the disorderly collapse of last week’s White House meeting in which the bailout plan unravelled for the first time.

Negotiators had worked all weekend to accommodate some of the doubts of conservative Republicans who objected to such a massive outlay of taxpayer funds on the financial sector. But in the end the largely superficial changes made to the original plan were not enough and more than three-quarters of Republicans voted against. Worse, perhaps, more than a third of Democrats also opposed the measure, which they saw as a handout to rich bankers on Wall Street.

Now, in effect, the politicians have called the bluff of Hank Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary. Since he first proposed the plan ten days ago he has repeatedly warned that its passage was absolutely essential to avoid a complete freezing-up of the US financial system.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

AP: House ignores Bush, rejects $700B bailout bill

In a stunning vote that shocked the capital and worldwide markets, the House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the nation’s financial system, ignoring urgent warnings from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties that the economy could nosedive without it. The Dow Jones industrials plunged nearly 800 points, the most ever for a single day.

Democratic and Republican leaders alike pledged to try again, though the Democrats said GOP lawmakers needed to provide more votes. Bush huddled with his economic advisers about a next step. The House was to reconvene on Thursday instead of adjourning for the year as planned.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Bishop Mark Lawrence of S.C. Reports on the recent House of Bishops' Meeting

Once again within a few months the landscape of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion has changed””as if Gafcon and Lambeth were not enough. What does this deposition mean? Frankly, it is still unfolding, but I offer the following reflections:

”¢ The House of Bishops whether intentionally or not has enhanced the power of the Presiding Bishop. With consequences far beyond the deposition of The Rt. Reverend Robert Duncan, this vote by interpretation and application of Title IV.9, has established invasive reach for the PB. It is now possible for a sitting bishop of TEC to be deposed without prior inhibition or trial, rendering superfluous the role of the three Senior Bishops of the House. Beyond this is the quizzical ruling that it takes more votes from the House to receive the resignation of a retiring bishop then to depose a sitting one! Then there is the curious fact that it takes a two-thirds vote of the house to overturn a ruling of the chair, thus when combined with rendering moot the role of the senior bishops and the plain reference to a needed “majority of the whole house entitled to vote” in Title IV.9””there is enhanced power to the PB regardless of who may hold the chair, now or in the future. A development mercurial indeed, when one considers the PB and House of Bishops have repeatedly declined the authority to speak on behalf of The Episcopal Church when queried for commitments by the Communion’s Instruments of Unity; deferring instead to the authority of General Convention.

”¢ I fear that however reasoned or temperately the members of the House of Bishops or the Presiding Bishop’s Office explains this deposition it will further trouble the waters of discord. There are several reasons for this: While Title IV.9 mentions a bishop abandoning the communion by open renunciation of the Discipline of this church, (which is ostensibly the clearest rationale for why the presentment was brought against Bishop Duncan), it is also clear from the same canon that prior to mentioning renunciation of the Discipline of the Church there is the reference to the Doctrine of the Church. Many from within TEC itself, as well as those in the various provinces of the Anglican Communion, are not unaware that there have been more then a few bishops of this Church who have in public settings and in published writings, renounced or at least denied the Doctrine of TEC. Others have allowed rites of worship, which if not having actually crossed the authorized boundaries in their approval of pastoral liturgies for same-sex blessings, have all but done so””doing pirouettes on a knife’s edge. Doesn’t the House of Bishops look as if it is being selective in holding its theological “conservative” bishops and dioceses accountable in matters of the Church’s discipline (i.e. the Constitution & Canons), while having no will to hold “liberal” bishops, retired and active, accountable on matters of doctrine and worship? And even in this matter of the Church’s discipline we may look selective: For instance what does the Presiding Bishop and the HOB’s intend to do with those bishops who contrary to the canons allow or even invite open communion of the unbaptized?

Ӣ As you may already know Bishop Duncan has been received as a bishop in the Province of the Southern Cone. Rather then helping to mend the fabric of the Communion torn by TEC in 2003 by actions contrary to Lambeth 1.10, this recent action of the House of Bishops further tears the fabric of the communion. Even as I write this account voices of support for Bishop Duncan are being raised in various provinces of the Anglican Communion.

”¢ I fear that while repeatedly asking other Provinces of the Communion to understand the uniqueness of our Church’s polity, and requesting a gracious patience towards the complexities of our local or provincial needs, we now appear to have limited capacity in offering this to one another within The Episcopal Church.

Ӣ There will be louder, more urgent, and convincing calls (indeed they have already been heard in several quarters) for another Anglican Province in North America.

All of this leads me to believe that the challenges that lie before a predominately conservative diocese like South Carolina have now been enormously increased if only because of the perception of our parishioners and clergy””but, more pertinently from what I fear is a failure of the present House of Bishops to realize just how far from historic Christianity our church has drifted….

Read it carefully and read it alll.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Polity & Canons

NY Times: House Rejects Bailout Package, 228-205; Stocks Plunge

In a moment of historic drama in the Capitol and on Wall Street, the House of Representatives voted on Monday to reject a $700 billion rescue of the financial industry.

The vote against the measure was 228 to 205. Supporters vowed to try to bring the rescue package up for consideration again as soon as possible.

Stock markets plunged sharply at midday as it appeared that the measure would go down to defeat.

House leaders pushing for the package kept the voting period open for some 40 minutes past the allotted time, trying to convert “no” votes to “yes” votes by pointing to damage being done to the markets, but to no avail.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

President Bush will meet economic team to determine next steps, and contact Congressional leaders —

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Leadership plans second attempt to pass bill – NY Times

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

House has closed the vote; rejects financial rescue bill

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

In the House, the Bill Vote Fails to Pass (So Far)

The stock market is falling like a rock. Credit markets remain frozen.

Right now it is 206 yes,-227 no.

218 needed to pass. they are keeping the vote open and trying to persuade people who voted no on the floor to change their vote.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Notable and Quotable

How did they come up with 700 billion dollar figure for the bailout?

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Greg Kinnear Talks to NPR about his New Movie Flash of Genius

In “Flash of Genius,” Greg Kinnear plays Robert Kearns, a professor who invented intermittent windshield wipers. Based on a true story, Kearns claimed that Detroit automakers stole his idea and sued them in a long, drawn-out battle. Host Liane Hansen chats with Kinnear about his movie.

I caught this yesterday in the car and it made me really want to see the movie–listen and see what you think.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

Pope Benedict XVI: Religious Liberty is a Win-Win Situation

When the Church is allowed the freedom to exercise its ministry, which includes the right to own the material goods it needs, everybody wins, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this Saturday upon receiving the credentials of the new Czech envoy to the Holy See, Pavel Vosalik. The audience took place at the Papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.

“Hope is indeed the timeless message which the Church offers to every generation, and it prompts her to participate in the global task of forging bonds of peace and goodwill among all peoples,” the Holy Father said in his introduction.

“She does this in a special way by her diplomatic activity, through which she extols the dignity of persons as destined for a life of communion with God and with one another,” he added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Religion and Ethics Weekly: What do religious voices have to say about the Economic Crisis?

[BOB] ABERNETHY: Father Martin, just step back just a minute and, quickly, what are the big lessons here about, maybe, things that go beyond just the bailout itself?

Fr. [JIM] MARTIN: Well, I think one thing is that, you know, these assets were highly valued because they were risky. In economics there’s a risk-return relationship, and I think one of the things we see that hasn’t been commented on is just that the CEOs sort of lost the sense of personal responsibility to their investors and, you know, to the people they were giving mortgages to. I mean, you know, you check out a lot of magazines in the past few months, they were talking about the coming collapse. It’s not, you know, it’s not as if people didn’t know this was going to happen, and yet the investment was still being made. So I think there’s a certain level, I agree with Jim Wallis, of personal responsibility that needs to be accepted by the CEOs. So in other words what I’m saying is it points out is that, you know, people really do have the responsibility for making conscientious decisions in the workplace.

[BOB] ABERNETHY: Jim Wallis, quickly.

Rev. [JIM] WALLIS: I think there’s an opportunity here for redemption. If our congregations begin to look at these questions — we ought to have adult Sunday school curriculum on money and how to be responsible in our economic lives. That could be a real opportunity for the pulpit to get involved here and start talking about what Christians and Jews and Muslims ought to do in responsible ways about how they live.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Evangelicals, Housing/Real Estate Market, Other Churches, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Stock Market, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Bess Twiston Davies–God on Mammon: theology for the credit crunch

It’s been a hell of a week for God and for Mammon. “The love of money is the root of all evil” Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York reminded City bankers on Wednesday, adding, rather presciently as it turned out, “We have all worshipped it. No one is guiltless”.

Indeed, less than 24 hours after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York had ripped into global capitalism, decrying the greed of “City robbers,” it emerged that the investments controlled by the Church itself were involved in short selling ”“ because its stock was lent to enable short selling to happen and because it owned shares in Man Group, a large hedge fund manager. As a morality tale, it was almost worthy of Chaucer’s Pardoner. Radix Malorum est Cupiditas: the Root of all Evil is Money he preaches in The Canterbury Tales, making, in the process, a tidy profit.

Yet for all the justified charges of hypocrisy, this weeks’ battles between Church and City have, if little else, turned the spotlight on God and the question of what, if anything, the world’s main faiths, Islam, Judaism and Christianity have to say about finance, debt and spirituality.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Islam, Judaism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Stock Market