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    In Love’s Service Only Wounded Soldiers Can Serve: Thornton Wilder’s “The Angel The Troubled the Waters”

    As discussed with paper-throwing panache by Paul Zahl at the 2009 Mockingbird Conference in his session “Grace in Literature,” one of Wilder’s three-minute plays for three people: CHARACTERS THE NEWCOMER, an invalid THE MISTAKEN INVALID THE ANGEL SETTING A great pool of water. The pool: a vast gray hall with a hole in the ceiling […]

    Depressions, Recessions, and the American Theory of Life

    In the Wall Street Journal, Sean McCann explores some of the parallels between the current economic crisis and the Great Depression, asking the timely question, “Will This Crisis Produce a ‘Gatsby’?” As fascinating as the literary implications are/could be, what’s most interesting are the paraphrases from Sherwood Anderson’s 1935 essay collection, Puzzled America, which articulates […]

    Assimilation of Negativity

    From PZ’s Who Will Deliver Us? “Assimilation of negativity” refers to a person’s willing, painful embrace of the sorrows of life, of himself and his flaws, in coexistence, almost union, with his confidence, aspirations, and joys. It is the opposite of splitting- the phenomenon of distancing our conscious self from unacceptable feelings and experiences to […]

    Where Have All The Resolutions Gone?

    We are entering Week Four of the New Year and the time when people should be giving up or failing at their New Year’s resolutions…but did they ever begin? Last year I proclaimed my resolution on this blog in response to the abundance of over-achieving and strong-willed resolutions that surrounded New York’s Wall Street Culture. […]

    The Bond Market talks Original Sin

    The short story here is that developing counties are no longer able to issue debt in their own currency, but have to issue in dollars. When a developing country issues debt in dollars, they can no longer print their own currency to pay off the debt, but they need to redeem it with dollars. Issuing […]

    Suicide on Wall Street

    The notion that men were jumping out of buildings after the collapse of the stock market in 1929 if mainly false. There were instances of major financiers committing suicide after the fact and then during the 30s there was a rise in the suicide rate from 14 to 17 per 100,000. The WSJ had a […]

    More on the Wall Street Deregulation Debate…

    Subtitle: Lack of control drives people to demand more of the law.

    From a WSJ editorial discussing the blame game calls for more regulation following the breakdown of the financial system:

    So why blame deregulation and small government? The social psychologist Gustav Jahoda says that unreasonable beliefs often arise in circumstances where people lack control and need to believe in something to get them through a highly stressful situation.

    At this point, when people call for more regulation, they are believing that more law is the answer (a highly unreasonable belief indeed!).

    More Biblical Language Wall St Crisis Index…

    From Nouriel Roubini’s blog:

    Of Biblical Proportions…

    I am initiating the Biblical Language Wall St Crisis Index (BLWSCI, 1-10 Scale):

    From a WSJ Headline (rating- 5):
    “Citi Weighs Options After Deal Torn Asunder”

    From Fitch on the US credit rating (rating-6.3):
    “The lack of ‘original sin’ (sovereign borrowing in foreign currency) is another defining feature of ‘AAA’ ratings and in the case of the U.S., the dollar’s role as the dominant global reserve currency reinforces the benefits in terms of financing flexibility. “

    The Law and Wall St

    For the last month, the conversation on Wall St has revolved around the idea of regulation. Specifically, the lack of it and how/whether to address that fact. The purpose of this post is not to espouse a political doctrine, but rather to comment on a central Christian doctrine: The Law, regardless of its stripe – […]

    Imputation and Optimism

    A short NYTimes opinion piece argues that although the deadly sin of greed has played a part in the financial crisis, the delusional optimism of mainstream America (and Merrill and Lehman) has also been the culprit. How are we to proceed? Not like the Calvinists of old the author says: Calvinists thought “negatively,” as we […]

    Everybody Worships: David Foster Wallace on Real Freedom and the Skeleton of Every Great Story

    The Wall Street Journal was kind enough to reprint the watershed commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College by late author/Mbird hero David Foster Wallace, now collected in the slim This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life volume. Some call it the finest example of the […]