Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Markets, Confidence, and Faith

From a deep book I am reading:
"J.P. Morgan, New York's leading banker, believed that economic panics must be quelled by the restoration of confidence. He began his program to control the panic of 1907 by summoning the Protestant clergy of the city and instructing them: 'It is time for reaffirming faith. Beseech your congregations on Sunday to leave their money in the banks.'"

The Morgan quote was found in a New York Times article by Leonard Silk on September 30, 1983. The author's point in the paragraph the quote is used:

"The more economics can be mystified by persuading people that economic systems are grounded in nature itself or are determined by a mystifying agent such as Adam Smith's 'invisible hand,' the less faith in the system itself need be stressed. But people still need faith in whatever grounds or upholds the economic system. Economics cannot be separated from the religious dimensions of life, despite the claim of modern economic theory to the contrary."

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