TIMES ONLINE: The whole world, and not just Britain, is broken, with continents such as Africa feeling forgotten and uncared for, the Archbishop of Canterbury said in the heart of New York’s financial district yesterday.
Any money men who might have happened in to Trinity Wall Street to shelter from the snow would have found a different sort of chill as Dr Rowan Williams delivered his lesson.
Standing at the lectern of the famously wealthy US Episcopal church, which lies at the head of Wall Street, the leader of the Anglican Communion condemned the “straw man” of self-interest.
His theme was that financiers, wordsmiths — in fact anyone in the Western world connected in any way with economic reality — should look at themselves in the mirror and repent.
Economic life had become independent of intelligent thought and “wildly irrational”, the Archbishop said. He condemned the “uncritical” way in which bankers and traders pursued wealth regardless of the consequences, selling expensive mortgages to the poor and repackaging them into complex products that few understood.
The “invention of more and more recondite metaphysical, unreal forms of wealth generation” existed, he said, simply to “produce noughts on the end of the balance sheet”.
Dr Williams, conscious that he was speaking close to a general election, echoed the social thought of the Roman Catholic Church when he added that society was founded on love, and there would be no sustainable model until this was recognised. >>> Ruth Gledhill and Alexandra Frean | Friday, January 29, 2010