Newt Gingrich's former spokesman Tony Blankley has a provocative column rejecting the whole idea that the "social utility" of synthetic derivatives requires a defense. He quotes Ayn Rand: "When the 'common good' (i.e., social utility) of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals. It is tacitly assumed, in such cases, that 'the common good' means the good of the majority as against the minority or individual."
Mr. Blankley, who discloses that he makes some money advising the financial services industry, goes on to argue that some of the anti-bank feeling out there is rooted in religious bigotry, a point we've been making here, too. Mr. Blankley writes:
But now the current majority in Congress and the White House (and their fellow thinkers in the media) seem to be possessed of cobwebbed, left-wing social utility theorems compounded by mental devolution to the historic idiocies and bigotries that our ancestors in the Old World -- in their ignorance -- imputed to money lenders, bankers, the Bavarian Illuminati, the House of Rothschild, etc.
Shakespeare's moving, but anti-Semitic "Merchant of Venice" seemed to make a re-appearance in The Washington Post's lead Sunday story headlined: "Cheers at Goldman as housing market fell; Executives reveled in bets made against the market."