Rowan Williams on Wall Street

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, delivered a talk on theology and economics at New York’s Trinity Church last week. The historic Wall Street church was the site of the Building an Ethical Economy: Theology and the Marketplace conference which promised to “bring together leading theologians and economists to talk about the relationship between economics and Christian belief and action.” Williams had this to say: “Inevitably at some point, you have to talk about what level of wealth generation is compatible with the finite setting in which we live.” The global economic crisis, he said, brought to light “unreal forms of wealth generation which simply produce naughts on the end of a balance sheet that correspond to nothing.” “Theology,” he said, “while it can’t solve specific economic problems, will be at the very least nagging at the vocabulary, nudging at the assumptions.” And that’s how his talk went — long on literary and theological metaphor (“money is a metaphor like other things”) but precious little on economics. Continue Reading...

On Life Support

Revive is a word commonly associated with the efforts that paramedics and other medical personnel make when someone has stopped breathing. Whether that’s due to slipping beneath the pond ice or being pulled under by a nasty California rip tide, the consequences of inaction will be fatal. Continue Reading...

Zimbabwe’s Entrepreneurs

Business Weekly, a production of BBC World Service, had an informative feature on Toby Sheta, a Zimbabwean mobile phone trader, who provided insights into the courage and tenacity required of entrepreneurs under Mugabe’s brutal dictatorship (you can download the original Business Daily story in MP3 format here). Continue Reading...

Ralph McInerny, Renaissance Man

Ralph McInernyThe Church and the world has lost an immense soul in the passing into eternity yesterday of Dr. Ralph McInerny, long time professor of philosophy at Notre Dame University. He was the modern epitome of the Renaissance Man: a towering intellectual, a Latinist, raconteur sublime, a writer of doggerel, a mystery writer (the Father Dowling series) and the list could go on. Continue Reading...

Obama to Small Businesses: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama commented that “even though banks on Wall Street are lending again, they’re mostly lending to bigger companies. Financing remains difficult for small-business owners across the country, even though they’re making a profit.” He then offered some of our tax dollars to help: “So tonight, I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.” The irony is that our government helped create this problem in the first place, both Republicans and Democrats. Continue Reading...

A Reminder

Children are not the property of the state: A Christian family from Germany have been granted political asylum in the US after facing the threat of prison for home schooling their children. Continue Reading...

Latin America: After the Left

This week’s Acton commentary: The left is in trouble in Latin America. Sebastián Piñera’s recent election as Chile’s first elected center-right president in decades owes much to the inability of the center-left coalition that governed Chile after 1990 to rejuvenate itself. Continue Reading...