“The dangers of demonology”


Hatred of bankers is one of the world’s oldest and most dangerous prejudices
Abbreviated from the Economist – January 7th 2012 | from the print edition

HURLING brickbats at bankers is a popular pastime. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement and its various offshoots complain that a malign 1%, many of them bankers, are ripping off the virtuous 99%. Hollywood has vilified financiers in “Wall Street”, “Wall Street 2”, “Too Big to Fail” and “Margin Call”. Mountains of books make the same point without using Michael Douglas.

Anger is understandable. The financial crisis of 2007-08 has produced the deepest recession since the 1930s. Most of the financiers at the heart of it have got off scot-free. The biggest banks are bigger than ever. Bonuses are flowing once again. The old saw about bankers—that they believe in capitalism when it comes to pocketing the profits and socialism when it comes to paying for the losses—is too true for comfort.
But is the backlash in danger of going too far? Could fair criticism warp into ugly prejudice? And could ugly prejudice produce prosperity-destroying policies? A glance at history suggests that we should be nervous.
( …………….. )
For centuries the hatred of moneylending—of money begetting more money—went hand in hand with a hatred of rootlessness. Cosmopolitan moneylenders were harder to tax than immobile landowners, governments grumbled. In a diatribe against the Rothschilds, Heinrich Heine, a German poet, fumed that money “is more fluid than water and less steady than air.”
( ……………….. )
Prejudice against financiers can cause non-economic damage, too. Throughout history, moneylenders have been persecuted. Ethnic minorities—most obviously the Jews in Europe and America but also the Chinese in Asia—have clustered in the financial sector first because they were barred from more “respectable” pursuits and later because success begets success. At times, anti-banking prejudice has acquired a strong tinge of ethnic hatred.
In medieval Europe Jews were persecuted not only because they were not Christians but also because killing them was a quick way to expunge debts.
( ……………. )
The crisis of 2008 showed that global finance requires tough medicine. Banks must be forced to hold bigger reserves. “Weapons of mass destruction” must be defused. The culture of short-term incentives needs to be revised. But demonising bankers will not solve these problems—and may well, if unchecked, bring a lot of ancient ugliness back to life.



Jerry Mager – Jan 11th 2012 – writes:
“I like not fair terms, and a villain’s mind” says Bassanio. What I found increasingly irritating re-reading this “The dangers of demonology” is the way in which the writer relates his/her arguments to jewishness and by implication to antisemitism. It is as if every time when one criticizes the way in which the Israeli government behaves towards the Palestinians or other neighbours one runs the risk of automatically being labeled, denounced, not to say demonized as an antisemite – which is odd considering the fact that Palestinians are semites too. As are all Arabs. Why this linking of irresponsible bankers, conniving politicians, marauding venture capitalists, thieving and defrauding financiers, to Jews and jewishness? Is it to stifle any criticism of this lot, to nip it in the bud, to intimidate into self-censorship?

What also strikes me is the leaving out of one of the most illuminating and illustrative examples of bigotry, prejudice, greed, racism, irresponsible gambling and unwarrant risk taking that could have come to the fore in an article like this. I refer, of course, to The “Merchant of Venice.” Reading and perusing this classic once again against the background of this so called “Financial Crisis” of ours, one comes to wonder who after all should be declared and appointed hero and who denounced as the real and intrinsic villain of this play. Did Antonio learn his lesson, did Shylock, or Bassanio? Not in the least so it seems. After all these centuries none of them seem to have changed a bit. They are still the same types of rascals – maybe even more depraved – up to misanthropical mischief and sour stupidities. But, the amounts of money they are gambling with nowadays are many times bigger and so is the havoc they wreak with their sociopathic tantrums.

Even demonizing will not likely be inducive to a change for the better in their acts and attitudes, I fear. Maybe at last a real example should be set: no more bail outs by the tax payer, no more glib and slippery lawyers to their rescue. Have them cut and carved for their pounds of flesh (more or less a pound per person, and including the necessary bloodshed – lets allow anaesthesia though). As it happens three interim managers of Goldman Sachs (Messrs. Draghi, Papademos and Monti), were recently appointed (!) on key governmental positions in the ailing EMU. So far for democracy. The convoluted intertwining of politics and (financial) business seems at least as intimate as it was in the Venice of The Merchant. Maybe even more so nowadays. So what seems to be the problem after all?


De Zwitsers, hoeven niet de EU in en ze hoeven ook geen euro!

oorspr. gepost op 04.08.2016


Zwitserland heeft zijn aanvraag van 20 mei 1992 om EU-lid te worden, ingetrokken. Voornaamste struikelblok: de Zwitsers vertikken het om het EU-adagium van vrij verkeer van personen te omhelzen. Momenteel geniet Zwitserland vrijhandel met de EU en kunnen Zwitserse staatsburgers vrij in de Schengen-zone reizen.

/  “Currently, Switzerland enjoys free trade with the bloc, while Swiss citizens enjoy free movement within the Schengen area. Switzerland and the European Union failed to reach consensus on the free movement of people at the recently concluded summer talks on the issue.
Switzerland has until February to implement a 2014 initiative, approved by a national referendum, to put some form of limits on immigration from EU states. This goes against the European Union’s principle of free movement of people in the common market, to which Switzerland adheres. “

Vitaliy en Zwitserland

De Zwitsers zijn erg preuts en terughoudend met het uitdelen van een Zwitsers staatsburgerschap.

Momenteel wonen er ongeveer twee miljoen (2.000.000) buitenlanders in Zwitserland, van wie circa een vierde uit tweede of zelfs derde generatie immigranten bestaat. Deze personen voldoen echter meestal niet aan de ‘inburgerings-kwalificaties’ die worden gesteld door de federale regering en/of de lokale kantons. Vooral het staatsexamen jodelen, richt keer op keer een slachting aan onder de kandidaten.

/ ‘Currently, there are about 2 million foreigners living in Switzerland with almost a quarter of them being second or third generation migrants. But often they fail to meet a list of all integration and naturalization criteria set by the federal government and authorities of local cantons, needed for full Swiss citizenship.’

De Zwitserse Socialistische partij – de tweede partij van het land – heeft een campagne gestart om in Zwitserland woonachtige buitenlanders met een tijdelijke verblijfsvergunning een Zwitsers paspoort te geven. Dit najaar zal een wet daartoe in het parlement worden behandeld, maar een referendum over dit onderwerp kan pas in 2017 of 2018 worden gehouden.

/ ‘This week, on occasion of Swiss National Day on August 1, the Socialist Party, the second largest in the Swiss parliament, launched the campaign to help foreigners living in the country under temporary residency permits to get Swiss passports….

“The bill will be treated by the parliament this autumn. Because it needs a modification of the federal constitution there will be a referendum which could take place in 2017 or 2018,” Michael Sorg said.’

Het kost een paar generaties in Zwitserland wonen – en Zwitserse koeien melken, en foutloos kunnen jodelen terwijl je Zwitserse chocolade eet – alvorens de Zwitsers willen beginnen te overwegen of je een lederhosen en alpenhoedje mag dragen. Tenminste de Zwitserse socialisten bezweren dat ze van goede wil zijn. Het examen jodelen met choclade in de mond moet echter ieder jaar opnieuw worden afgelegd.

/ ‘ “Persons who are born in Switzerland, whose parents have been born in Switzerland and whose grand-parents have lived 20 years or more in Switzerland mostly don’t have any relations to their old ‘home country’ and are perfectly integrated in Switzerland. That is why we want to facilitate the process of naturalization for them, ” the Socialist Party spokesperson said.

Last time the Swiss voted on the easing of its citizenship law for young immigrants in 1994, but then it was rejected.’

Markies Canteclaer_Zwitserleven_2



Sputnik International (02.08.2016) : ‘EU Council Receives Note From Switzerland on EU Membership Withdrawal’

Sputnik International (03.08.2016): ‘Swiss Referendum on Immigrants Naturalization Bill to Take Place in 2017 or 2018’

Sputnik International  (05.08.2016): ‘All Swiss Political Parties Support Maintaining Bilateral Contracts With EU’


Zwitsers bedanken voor mallemolen


‘Belastingparadijs Panama ligt in Luxemburg en Zwitserland, maar dan vele malen groter en tikkend als een tijdbom’ (19 april 2016)


cartoonist Sputnik: Vitaly Podvitsky









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