Bear Stearns and Barnabas
They made a fortune marketing subprime mortgages as investment vehicles. Is their downfall the last casualty of a failed investment strategy that began with the collapse of their hedge funds or the glimmer of a light that indicates the props of the Federal Reserve still work?
I have been thinking about the role of true believers in the competition between Judaism and Christianity in the first three centuries. True believers are a part of mass movements including the stampedes of the bears and bulls of hysterical markets. They collateralized subprime mortgages and then we realized that the subprimes did not constitute collateral.
Barnabas did not understand why true believers still were fascinated by rituals, sacrifices, new moons and pieces of paper lacking collateral. True believers establish value. But we need to decide for ourselves whether or not the values being marketed are eternal.