“What an odd title”, you are thinking as you read today’s SC edition. I was thinking of the title, “Muppets.” A new book was recently released by Greg Smith about the poor treatment of clients by the company. In the book, clients, like teachers retirement funds, were referred to as Muppets. The term refers to people who are dumb and easily manipulated. He claims that people on Wall Street are as unethical as they have ever been and that nothing was learned by the crash of 2008. Is that a surprise? The “greed-is-good” culture is as old as humanity. Jesus once said, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
I came across a quote by John Steinbeck who wrote, “It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.” Big money buys elections, ruins lives of small investors, and creates an environment where greed abounds. No wonder we have movements like “Occupy.” The cure is twofold: 1. Faith; 2. Personal responsibility.
Jesus’ advice is the best you can find anywhere. Live your principals but be very wary of the world and what it offers. Gain wisdom even while being skeptical of what the world offers. Investing yourself in what outlasts your life is always the best investment. People matter – relationships matter – the Word matters – these are the things to heavily invest in during your life. Don’t be surprised that Goldman Sachs promotes a culture of greed – this is a fallen world. Yes, we should urge reform. Good for Greg Smith in calling out Goldman Sachs. Remember this is a broken world in need of true human reform. Only our Creator is capable of creating that kind of permanent change of heart, soul, and mind.