Blogging and the House of Morgan

Having conferred for LO, these many days at the Beyond Walls conference here at Kenyon College, there some valuable insights I feel duty bound to share.

First, when your walking toward your residence through a thunderstorm with a tornado siren wailing, the woman who yells out her door, “You’re supposed to take shelter!” is probably inviting you to a place of safety, not being a sarcastic jerk.

Also, there are rabbis who color coordinate their yarmulkes to their outfits, which is perhaps the coolest thing ever.

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Thanks, Adam!

But here’s the epiphany I really need to share, so much so that I’m actually posting for the second time in two days. I know; calm down and take a breath.

Blogging is an awful lot like private banking the golden age of finance.Marinus_Claesz._van_Reymerswaele_001

In that I just sit around and counting money all day; work, work, work.

Private Banks, like the Medicis in the fifteenth century, the Rothchilds in the nineteenth and the House of Morgan in the twentieth, each dealt with sums of money large enough to be termed capital and not simply wealth; nonetheless, the true value of their product, if one can call it that, rested almost entirely on reputation and character. It wasn’t enough that Pierpont Morgan had many millions of dollars, or even that he was willing to lend those many millions; rather, it was his reputation as a man whose word could be trusted that enabled his bank to exert influence far beyond the value of its capital – not once, but twice stepping in to rescue the United States from financial ruin.
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All while trying to avoid being in the same picture as his nose.

Such Private Banks didn’t cater to just anyone; one didn’t just walk into 23 Wall Street with a bag of money and expect to open an account. Medici or Morgan, you either had to be somebody or know somebody to begin a relationship. Their clientele always came with a reference – a Letter of Introduction. 

Andrew_Carnegie,_three-quarter_length_portrait,_seated,_facing_slightly_left,_1913-crop

Unless they were really, really rich.

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Or the Prince of Wales.

This was the original concept of relationship banking – not seeking to leverage loyalty and familiarity to sell more product, but instead, recognizing the essential connection between banker and client; how not just the fortunes, but the reputation of one might be affected by the actions of the other. Such relationships were long term commitments, generally regarded as sacrosanct by competing banks, and were sources of pride for both parties.

I am a not a banker.

Lionel_Barrymore_as_Mr._Potter

Although I do have the scowl.

 I am a writer; in particular, a sometimes humorous writer of theological and spiritual wisdom from the Christian, Protestant, Reformed, Presbyterian perspective. You, presumably, are a reader, who either seeks humor, or wisdom, or is my friend and responding to my desperate plea for validation. (Thanks, guys.) As a Blog writer (I refuse to use the term ‘Blogger, since it reminds me of a video game at which I was terrible), there are relationships building here, on this page, which may have repercussions for both you and me, especially if you, the readers, take advantage of the comment section, which you can do my clicking on the little blue dialog bubble on the top right.

Did you notice how, in the previous paragraph,  I got you to assume I am capable of sharing both humor AND wisdom? That’s called Branding. Here’s some more.

It is my hope and intention to:

Break down social and theological issues of the day to make them accessible to the folks in (and beyond) the pew, and provide a framework for real discussion.

– my words

OR:

To integrate disparate topics into a meditation we can all use.

-the completely voluntary, totally accurate words of a college classmate. Thanks Michael.

So it seems appropriate, before I go any farther into the Blogosphere, to establish my Bona Fides, so that you can judge for yourself whether or not I am a source you can trust. So, VERY SOON, you will be able read what I shall call my ‘Letter of Introduction.’ I promise. Just as soon as I write it.

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