How the JP Morgan Death-wish Affects You.
There are some things that simply don’t change. One of them is human nature. Without the transformation that only God can bring, we are like the sick dog who isn’t smart enough to break the cycle of eating its own vomit.
We have big banks and we know that they are doing things we don’t understand. Unfortunately they don’t seem to understand them either. They take our money, pay no interest to us, charge us exorbitant fees for “helping us,” and put the funds to “work” making money off risky derivates and unpredictable “assets.” They no longer lend to small business and little people because they can’t leverage the debt enough times to make a mega return on every dollar. The little people are forced to borrow off high-cost lenders (if they can) or learn to go without funds. The poor get poorer, the have-nots have less.
We have a problem. We have forgotten basic economics and in its place we have put a system the demands ever higher returns. Money begets money and you can be absolutely certain that the big banks have never spent so much on lobbying as they do now. At all costs they want to avoid regulations (they have succeeded in dodging the bullet for over four years now.) J. P. Morgan has just demonstrated that we still don’t have any protection whatsoever from a full repeat of the last financial melt-down. They have also demonstrated that they are still addicted to the same risky behavior that got them into trouble last time.
Oh sure, a head or two will roll and they will hide their $2 billion losses in mega-profits from some other risky deal (they hope) but if your alarm bells aren’t ringing at full volume you need to get them checked. It’s election year so we can be sure the politicians will do nothing. Like lemmings we are still rushing full speed for the cliffs.
The driving force behind all this folly is an old-fashioned human motivator called greed. We are so smart that we think we can continually get mega-returns out of nothing but no one is so good that they can win at lotto every time they play. For sure the banks aren’t that good.
We need to break the cycle of greed but, sadly, our chances of breaking it are small. Behind every banker who thinks he can defy gravity indefinitely there is an army of subordinates ready to fill his (or her) shoes when the inevitable crash occurs. The greedy system is beyond our control and we will soon be paying for it again.
Meantime, even though the politicians are not able or willing to challenge the system, we are still able to apply faith to the way we live our lives. Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Now is a good time to look at what we do and our expectations. We live in a society that is blind to its greed but we are the people of faith. Our reliance is on God and his provision, so we are able to be smarter than average – we are able to recognize greed and avoid falling into its clutches. We can understand that every harvest requires a seed-time. There is such a thing as sensible investing – just be sure you don’t look at any banker for inspiration and remember that most stock-brokers aren’t far behind the bankers in the folly stakes (ever tried to listen to the “Mad Money” Kramer nonsense?)
Living without greed is hard to do since its tentacles reach into every part of our lives. We are continually bombarded with messages of dissatisfaction over what we have and the endless “need” to have more. Always more.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who give me strength.” Philippians 4.
How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it. Proverbs 1:17-19
A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live. Proverbs 15:27
Can others spot the difference in the way we live?
Posted on May 15, 2012, in Active faith, Self-awareness and tagged $2 billion, addiction, contentment, faith in life, greed, J. P. Morgan, leverage, Philippians 4, Seven deadly sins, stupidity. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.