Following St. Benedict’s example, “monasteries have, over the course of the centuries, become lively centres of dialogue, of meeting and of beneficial fusion among different peoples, brought together by the evangelical culture of peace. Through work and example, the monks were able to teach the art of peace, giving tangible form to the three elements identified by Benedict as being necessary to conserve the unity of the Spirit among mankind: the cross, which is the very law of Christ; the book, in other words culture; and the plough, which stands for work, mastery over matter and time”. The Pope continued: “Thanks to the work of monasteries, divided into the threefold daily commitment to prayer, study and work, entire peoples on the European continent have known real liberation and beneficial moral, spiritual and cultural development, being educated in a sense of continuity with the past, real activity for the common good, and openness to God and the transcendental. Let us pray that Europe may always appreciate this heritage of Christian principles and ideals which represent such an immense cultural and spiritual resource. “This is possible”, the Pope added in conclusion, “but only if we accept the constant teaching of St. Benedict: … that seeking God is man’s fundamental task. Human beings do not realise themselves fully, they cannot be truly happy, without God. … From this place where his mortal remains lie, the patron saint of Europe still invites everyone to continue his work of evangelisation and human promotion”.
Benedict on Benedict – from Vatican news


Everyone’s situation is different, but overal this looks like an especially treacherous bear market, made doubly difficult by the actions of the Treasury and the Fed in bankrolling malinvestment, imbalances and corrupted price discovery. When in doubt, get out. Don’t get hooked by greed. This rally ‘could’ have some legs if it becomes a determined effort to reflate the credit bubble supported by the power of the Treasury and the Fed, as we saw in 2003-6, which was a reckless and disgraceful abuse of the Fed’s economic responsibilities. We doubt they can do it again, but never underestimate the power of greed and fear over memory and prudence….
Today reminds me of the briefly sunny period in 1930-1 when most economists and public officials agreed that the Depression was already over and the economy was back on track. President Hoover dismissed a delegation of businessmen who came to Washington with ideas on stabilizing the economy with “Too late gentlemen, the slump is over.” There are few things from my childhood that I remember more vividly than grandmother’s comments regarding this false recovery. “If we knew what was coming, we would have killed ourselves.” This from as strong a person as I have ever encountered, with a faith that would break rocks. The Great Depression left an indelible mark, or more accurately scar, on her entire family, and my father’s as well. And I never heard the name “Franklin Roosevelt” from her lips without it being preceded by “God bless” followed by “he saved my family.” Not all of her children unfortunately. She said she cried so much and so often that she was never able to cry again. And she did not, even at the end.
Jesse’s Café Américain

Complementary currencies

Whatever governments do for the banks, credit will be a lot harder to obtain for businesses…we have now entered the period of an unprecedented convergence of the four planetary issues – financial instability, climate change, unemployment and the financial consequences of an aging society – that was described in the 2001 book, The Future of Money. To avoid a domino effect of massive layoffs and bankruptcies, the most urgent action for businesses to take is the initiative of creating a Business-to-Business (B2B) mutual credit system at whatever scale makes sense to them. The WIR system is a successful precedent of this strategy implemented in Switzerland since 1934. The degradation of the environment due to short-term financial priorities can similarly be addressed with pragmatic money innovations. Short-term thinking is shown not to be due to human nature, but to the prevailing money system. It is also possible to reverse this process, by using a currency designed specifically for multinational trade and contracts which would make long-term thinking a spontaneous process, focusing the attention on long-term sustainable solutions without the need for regulations or taxation.
Bernard Lietaer