“We’re a little concerned"said Nicholas Bohnsack, sector strategist at Strategas Research Partners. This concern only deepened with news from the American Bankers Association that Americans are increasingly falling behind on home equity loans and other forms of debt. Wall Street Turns to Earnings and Starts to Worry - NYTimes.com. Meanwhile, the Vatican released a statement from the Pope that sounded an awful lot like the Communist Manifesto. According to the Catholic News Agency,
The transformation of the global economy requires more than the basic exchange of goods of equal value. (We need) an economy that answers both the demands of distributive justice and social justice.Furthermore,
The processes of globalization (can) open up the unprecedented possibility of large-scale redistribution of wealth on a world-wide scale.”Of course, capitalism, at its core, is and has always been anti-Catholic (and Catholicism anti-capitalism). According to Max Weber's 1903 class, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, it was the belief of certain Protestant sects, particularly Calvinist ones, that economic wealth was a sign of God's favor (Predestination) that allowed capitalism to flourish on American and English soil. In other words, while Catholics were still mired in the idea that greed is bad, that it is more difficult for a rich man to get into heaven than a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, the Protestants were beginning to make a religion out of profit. Although the structure of capitalism was in place long before the Industrial Revolution in other places-there were trade routes, exchangable currencies, and manufacturing- it took a certain sort of belief system, a spirit, to motivate people to work hard and then reinvest all their profits into future earnings. That spirit was the Protestant work ethic (or unethic depending on your point of view). Perhaps if Pope Benedict can undermine the belief that wealth on earth is a sign of God's favor, he will dislodge the spirit of greed and everyone for her or himself that has structured the"free-market" economic policies of the US and many other countries for the past several decades. Or perhaps Popes are as superfluous as Karl Marx and Communists in leading us away from a profit driven economy that allows wealth to concentrate in the hands of the few. In any event, it is good to know that Wall Street is "concerned."