The Styles of His Emminence Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
“In October 2011 Cardinal Turkson called for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises.”
Below is a reposting of the article Dave wrote on October 24, 2011 (The Pontiff as Profit Prophet). You will find the original post at this link: http://tradewithdave.com/?p=8256
You can’t get much clearer than how it is spelled out in the title to the Vatican’s report:
Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary System in the Context of a Global Public Authority
The Pontiff As Profit Prophet
The Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of The Holy See Is Explained To Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls
Today, here is what the Pope is suggesting is the problem:
First and foremost, an economic liberalism that spurns rules and controls. Economic liberalism is a theoretical system of thought, a form of “economic apriorism” that purports to derive laws for how markets function from theory, these being laws of capitalistic development, while exaggerating certain aspects of markets. An economic system of thought that sets down a priori the laws of market functioning and economic development, without measuring them against reality, runs the risk of becoming an instrument subordinated to the interests of the countries that effectively enjoy a position of economic and financial advantage.
Regulations and controls, imperfect though they may be, already often exist at the national and regional levels; whereas on the international level, it is hard to apply and consolidate such controls and rules.
The inequalities and distortions of capitalist development are often an expression not only of economic liberalism but also of utilitarian thinking: that is, theoretical and practical approaches according to which what is useful for the individual leads to the good of the community. This saying has a core of truth, but it cannot be ignored that individual utility – even where it is legitimate – does not always favour the common good. In many cases a spirit of solidarity is called for that transcends personal utility for the good of the community.
Here’s what Dave thinks about it. First of all, take notice of the mention of a priori (Latin for “from the earlier”). That’s crucial to this. Fundamental to Marxism and existentialism is to remove the concept of a priori. To over-simplify Dave will say that to accept a priori in the framework of our being is to say that God has a plan for your life. To deny a priori and to embrace a posteriori (Latin for “from the later”) is to say that God doesn’t have a plan for your life and that you make your life’s plan and your Creator has nothing to do with it. It’s probably the single most important issue that Dave writes about and Dave believes in as far as Dave is concerned.
It’s crucial to take notice however of how the Vatican is positioning a priori. It’s not in relation to human existence, but rather in relation to the development of laws; laws in particular as they relate to financial regulation. What they seem to be saying, at least to Dave, is that financial regulation laws have been unable to keep up with the rapid development of technology and its impact on capital markets (i.e. high frequency trading) therefore laws are of little or no use and should be replaced by a global political structure of people who decide right and wrong, not laws.
It’s fundamental to our Republic and to the concept of democracy and to the execution of distraint that government be of laws rather than of men. To embrace that concept is not to say that laws are perfect, just that laws are more consistent and fair in nature than men, or kings for that matter. Kings, or Popes or white-shirted police officers who can act arbitrarily rather than consistently under the law and within a governmental framework that is able to update and transform the laws as circumstances change are quite convenient if you are a king, or a Pope or a white-shirt knight stick swinging non-law enforcement enforcer.
To summarize, Dave would say that since the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve have failed to abide by the laws, then the Pope is saying that laws don’t work and they especially don’t work when you design them before (a priori) you even know how technology is going to be applied to ripping people off. It seems reasonable if you buy into the fact that the SEC and the CFTC and folks like Bart Chilton are in the pocket of the banks while people like Brooksley Born are relegated to the sideline. The Pope’s solution and I quote directly from the Vatican’s website today; “… a long road still needs to be travelled before arriving at the creation of a public Authority with universal jurisdiction.” The report also states the following; ”It is a matter of an Authority with a global reach that cannot be imposed by force, coercion or violence, but should be the outcome of a free and shared agreement and a reflection of the permanent and historic needs of the world common good. It ought to arise from a process of progressive maturation of consciences and freedoms as well as the awareness of growing responsibilities.”
What’s notable here is that there is no mention of price discovery. There is no mention of John Locke’s invisible hand. There is no mention of Adam Smith’s classical liberalism as outlined in The Wealth of Nations. There is simply the mention of a single autonomous global political authority with complete and total oversight of the financial markets.
Here’s the entire report. Read it for yourself. What is the single largest incorporated entity in the world? You guessed it….
For previous posts on the Pontiff’s approach to business, click here:
Just in case you missed it in the above report,
The document, Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority was very specific, calling for taxation measures on financial transactions.
The Guardian’s January 22, 2013 report on the new tax regime:
An excerpt from The Guardian’s October 24, 2011 report on the Vatican’s position on a global financial authority:
Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 encyclical, titled Charity in Truth, which criticised free market fundamentalism.According to the pamphlet, the Pope had singled out the moral, economic and financial roots of the crisis. “To function correctly the economy needs ethics, and not just of any kind but one that is people-centred.”The pope, it adds, “himself expressed the need to create a world political authority”.
Dave’s comment: An “economy” may need ethics, but it isn’t going to get it any more than calling a corporation a person (i.e. Citizens United v. FEC) is going to result in their getting up and walking. A corporation is a piece of paper, not a person and an economy is a system and systems aren’t ethical or unethical, people are ethical or unethical and laws are just or unjust and law enforcement either enforces the law or they could choose to worry about “ripple effects” and their next job on the other side of the revolving door. The fundamental premise of the Christian faith is that man is fallen and sinful and that salvation is by faith, not of works. Therefore, how does an “economy” in need of ethics get those ethics exactly? I guess you could say that the economy is a person just like a corporation is a person and then the economy could find salvation and forgiveness. Sounds like something straight out of the Book of Revelations if you ask me.
The full report from The Guardian Oct. 24, 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/24/vatican-calls-crackdown-financial-market
For those of you looking to make a buck on the papal speculation, you can place your bets on the odds of the singer/activist Bono being the next pope and the payoff is 1000:1 if Bono wins. I know the odds are long, but so are the odds of getting struck by lightning on the same day that a living Pope resigned for the first time in 600 years. You feelin’ lucky?
Cardinal Turkson explains the significance of being a Cardinal, a bishop of Rome and the possibilities of being the first black Pope and alludes to President Obama:
Who’s responsible for editing Wikipedia anyway?
In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit.
Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus, quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & judex tremedus judicabit populum suum. Finis.
This may be translated into English as:
In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit [i.e., as bishop].
Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people. The End.