Justin Welby: Salvation through legislation

You might think an Archbishop of Canterbury who knows a thing or two about balance sheets would be an improvement on his predecessor whose cluelessness regarding the financial crisis was always painfully apparent. Then again, you might be wrong. Knowledge may be power, but knowledge on its own does not necessarily liberate you from the clutches of power.
Justin Welby, since 21st March 2013 head of the Anglican Church and therefore spiritual leader of many millions of people worldwide and of the established church in England (whatever that may mean practically nowadays), having once been ‘treasurer of the oil exploration group Enterprise Oil PLC in London’, according to Wikipedia, is now also a member of the ‘cross party parliamentary banking commission’.
In an interview with George Parker of the Financial Times, aired on BBC Radio 4 on 27th April, he stated that he is worried about a ‘culture of entitlement’ that has ‘affected many areas of the City [of London]’. The financial sector seems ‘disconnected from what people see as reasonable in the rest of the world.’ So far so good, you might think. But what remedy does the clergyman suggest?
Welby wants to ‘raise professional standards’ by way of a ‘formal training’ for bankers, including an ‘exam’, to be policed by an ‘agency’ closely ‘linked with the regulator’.
By this statement, Welby reveals himself as follower of the ideology of ‘salvation through legislation’. This term is used by Gary North here to describe the basics of the social science departments at all the most influential universities in America. This is surely no less the case in the UK. (Welby received a B.A. degree in history and law from Trinity College, Cambridge.)
This ideology is part of what North, in his book ‘Moses and Pharaoh’, calls ‘power religion’, one of the most prominent biblical representative of this being the Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. (In his book, North contrasts ‘power religion’ with what he identifies as the two other possible basic religions: ‘dominion’ [represented in Exodus by Moses] and ‘escapist’ [represented by the Hebrew slaves who after their first taste of God-given freedom in the desert would rather return to the fleshpots of Egypt].)
In the interview, the Archbishop seemed to sense that something in his statement did not quite fit with what he is supposed to represent. Because when the interviewer asked him if legislation will ever be enough without a ‘higher standard of morality’, Welby hastened to add that ‘regulation itself is not enough’. But how that change should be brought about? Crickets, as the Americans say. No answer was attempted. No such question was asked, either (yes, I know: what a surprise).
Not a word therefore, of course, on the present practice of allowing the constant dilution of the value of legal tender. Nor on the fact that precisely this practice is at the root of all the moral hazard in the financial world and of most of the world’s current evils – endless and expanding wars, endless and expanding long-term unemployment etc. – financed with the many billions of pounds, dollars, euros and so on, issued by the banking system in the form of paper and digits. Is the current Archbishop clever enough to know this, but also cowardly enough to look the other way?
Welby, not being an actual wielder of the power he religiously seems to support, only an adherent, is at least refreshingly frank about one thing. On being asked whether a recapitalisation of banks would necessarily involve taxpayers’ money, he essentially admitted: ‘yes’, though he phrased it in a more roundabout way: The ‘ethical approach’ involves ‘transparency’ and recognition of the ‘reality of where we are’, he said.
At least with regard to the crucially important monetary policy, the Archbishop of Canterbury seems to be in practice not so much a spiritual leader of a Christian community but more a loyal servant of the current Pharaoh.

6 responses to “Justin Welby: Salvation through legislation

  1. John R McDougall in BNE

    So!! What did you expect from a god-botherer; university educated or not. These analyses demand an intelligent, objective and honest analyst. Will you find such a person within the stipendiary priesthood? I suspect not, so why do you expect it?

  2. Mustela nivalis

    I didn’t.

  3. Yet more regulations on top of the thousands of pages of regulations that have grown up since government took over from the “restrictive” private clubs and companies that ran things till the mid 1980s – accept that no one was FORCED to trade in the old clubs and companies. For example, anyone could have set up a rival stock exchange (and there had been rival exchanges) and trading “off exchange” was perfectly legal. The new “free market” (i.e. thousands of pages of regulations) alternative to the men in old fashioned hats who used to run things, was (and is) backed by the FORCE of law.

    And Archbishop Welby (who does not seem to be interested in “God stuff”- as it takes time from the really important “Social Teaching”, i.e. statism ) pushes for more exams and licensing – i.e. a guild, white collar union closed shop.

    Anyone who thinks that only blue collar unions can rob people, should example the history of lawyers and doctors (and on and on) in the United Startes. Once the state backs up the guilds (by making it ILLEGAL to compete against their member) there is no need for “picket lines” (men with clubs) and so on – as one can steal vastly more with a pen (if the state backs it) than one can with a club.

    Of course “exams”, “licensing” and “the regulator” will do nothing to prevent another bust. Boom-busts are caused by MONETARY POLICY (this was known as far back as the days of David Hume and Richard Cantillon) But I rather doubt that anyone who told the truth in Archbishop Welby’s “exams” would pass those exams.

    On the contrary the main government policy (supported by the Opposition) is to “get the banks lending again”.

    Hair-of-the-dog “economics”.

    It is not inevitable – the Bank of England did not always produce money (from NOTHING) and hand it out as “low interest rate” Corporate Welfare (on the understanding that the banks and other such would use the money to fund the government’s out of control Welfare State spending).. Indeed Governors of the Bank of England denounced (in the strongest terms) Walter Bagehot (the person who started the fall from principle in the Economist magazine) for suggesting things that were vastly more moderate than what is done every day now. It is simply not true that Corporate Welfare was always the policy of the Bank of England, it did not use to be the policy (although even when it was not the policy the Band of England should still not have existed).

    Monetary policy is credit-bubblism, and fiscal (government spending) policy in Britain (as in Japan and so on) is in a de facto (although not legal) state of bankruptcy. And Archbishop Welby?

    Carry on with ever more “Social Policy” (even though civil society, as well as the economy, is being destroyed by it). And carry on with the credit bubble financial system also – more regulations and exams will deal with any problems.

    An honest cleric would not lecture people about these matters at all (because that is not the role of a cleric), let alone come out with stuff which is as wildly wrongheaded as the gushings of Archbiship Welby.

    But where are honest clerics?

  4. By the way….

    The financial industy should be no bigger than the REAL SAVINGS it is supposed to look after.

    The “expansion of the financial industry” is NOT an achievement if REAL SAVINGS are not expanding – on the contrary, it is the classic sign of a credit expansion (credit bubbleism) and must end in a bust.

    One can even see it in terms of architecture.

    After the National Banking Acts in the United States there was some distortion of the capital structure – the big New York City banks were artficially boosted (by, for example, it being made ILLEGAL to “discount” their debt paper). However, things really ot out of control after the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913.

    It could be seen in the physical facts on the ground. The homes of rich and poor alike and even major places of religious worhip (some built only a few years before) were torn down in New York City (and other centers of banking) to make room for more-and-more offices.

    The percentage of income that people actually save is not higher than it was in 1913 – yet modern cities are dominated by the Sky Towers of the banks (and other such). Parts of London have, in recent decades, started to look like New Yorl.

    It may look impressive – but citie should-not-look-like-this.

    The financial services industy (the banks and so on) shoudl not be a bigger proportion of the economy than the real savings that it is supposed to serve.

    Short version of all the above.

    We are doomed – even if we can not see through the corrupt balance sheets of the banks and so on, one can see the physical evidence.

    Vast Sky Towers in the major cities (producing NOTHING) – whilst factories (manufacturing) close and farming becames a government dependent joke.

  5. I am glad at least someone can see through the corrupted balance sheets and documents being produced by government, it least some of us are not blind to these facts or evidence, even if the judges pretent ot be blind and unable to read or understand evidence. Of course we see this morning, 9.9 million spent on the Qatata case, but wait he is only one of many going through there deportation process, there are ten’s of thousands. What kind of judges or government allow this to happen, why do they let people walk in to the country and then spend ten’s of thousands on each case trying to remove them, why spend 9.9 million on one case, it’s demeted insane logic, there appears to be other motives I think that government or MP’s do not wish to comment on.

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