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Tim Nafzinger: Financial Institutions and Babylon

At OLSX, St. Paul's. Photo credit: Duncan C., http://www.flickr.com/photos/duncan/6281021255/

As part of the Word and World mentoring circle that I belong to we have been reading Protestant theologian William Stringfellow and talking about the Occupy Movement.

Here’s a concise insight from Tim Nafzinger:

>>It’s very interesting, in light of our recent discussion on William Stringfellow’s An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land to read George Monbiot’s column in The Guardian naming the Corporation of the City of London (the official name of the square mile in London that houses many of the world’s most powerful banks and financial institutions) as “Babylon” in yesterday’s Guardian. Note this is a completely different legal entity from the London where 3 million people live. Monbiot writes:

It’s the dark heart of Britain, the place where democracy goes to die, immensely powerful, equally unaccountable. But I doubt that one in 10 British people has any idea of what the Corporation of the City of London is and how it works. This could be about to change. Alongside the Church of England, the Corporation is seeking to evict the protesters camped outside St Paul’s cathedral. The protesters, in turn, have demanded that it submit to national oversight and control. …

[The City] has also made the effective regulation of global finance almost impossible. Shaxson shows how the absence of proper regulation in London allowed American banks to evade the rules set by their own government. AIG’s wild trading might have taken place in the US, but the unit responsible was regulated in the City. Lehman Brothers couldn’t get legal approval for its off-balance sheet transactions in Wall Street, so it used a London law firm instead. No wonder priests are resigning over the plans to evict the campers. The Church of England is not just working with Mammon; it’s colluding with Babylon.

Fittingly enough, from a Stringfellow perspective, this private banking world is often just referred to as “The City.”

Monbiot’s naming and shaming (along with the resignation of three Church of England clergy members) seems to have had its effect. This morning the Church of England stopped its attempts to evict Occupy London. Now it’s just Babylon against them…<<

Thanks Tim.