Goldman Sachs: God’s work ain’t easy on anyone!


World Youth Day is a popular Catholic faith th...

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Link: ‘Sophistication’ debate heats up

By Gillian Tett, FT

Last year the author wrote a column “that argued it was time to start a debate about the definition of “sophisticated” investor. That was sparked by a saga bubbling in Italy, where investment banks have flogged numerous derivatives trades to local governments, and other entities (including convents) – and some of the deals are now turning sour, sparking law suits”.

So, Goldman Sachs’ [self cast as God’s financial emissaries] crimes could be retribution for on a Church guilty of committing, covering up and denying heinous sins [not my words!] perpetrated against its own people.

Individual convents may not be deemed to be “sophisticated investors” but that does assume that they make such decisions independent of the central authority of the oldest and most wealthy non-profit in history! Not, by the stretch of anyone’s imagination, anything other than a sophisticated investor.

Victims set to be denied thrice

No matter the outcome of any institution v institution actions, the victims can never be fully compensated for a string of the worst institutional crimes. Abuse of Office, trust and individuals.

Institutions are under pressure like never before and it will only get worse because they are more intent upon defending the indefensible and to fight to retain power and wealth…worryingly reminiscent of the words of Dr Joseph Tainter referring to The Collapse of Complex Societies:

Complex societies collapse because, when some stress comes, those societies have become too inflexible to respond. In retrospect, this can seem mystifying. Why didn’t these societies just re-tool in less complex ways? The answer Tainter gives is the simplest one: When societies fail to respond to reduced circumstances through orderly downsizing, it isn’t because they don’t want to, it’s because they can’t.

buiding-collapse In such systems, there is no way to make things a little bit simpler – the whole edifice becomes a huge, interlocking system not readily amenable to change. Tainter doesn’t regard the sudden de-coherence of these societies as either a tragedy or a mistake—”[U]nder a situation of declining marginal returns collapse may be the most appropriate response”, to use his pitiless phrase. Furthermore, even when moderate adjustments could be made, they tend to be resisted, because any simplification discomfits elites.

When the value of complexity turns negative, a society plagued by an inability to react remains as complex as ever, right up to the moment where it becomes suddenly and dramatically simpler, which is to say right up to the moment of collapse. Collapse is simply the last remaining method of simplification.

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