29 January 2009

History Lesson for the Bank Fiasco

I love it when journalists turn to history, in this case ancient history, for commentary on today's happenings. Here's one from the reign of Tiberius, stepson of Augustus and second emperor of the Roman Empire. It's from Tom Ricks as channeled by Matthew Yglesias:

Tom Ricks: “The latest round of massive corporate layoffs reminds of the financial crisis the Roman Empire suffered in 33 A.D.”

The Emperor Tiberius seems like a man who wouldn’t shy away from nationalizing a bank or two:

Tiberius also raised funds by accusing Sextus Marius, the richest man in Spain, of incest — almost certainly a trumped-up charge — and then having him thrown headlong from the Tarpeian Rock (see below), a cliff at the edge of Rome’s Capitoline Hill. “Tiberius kept his gold mines for himself,” Tacitus notes. It makes me think that Wall Street is getting off easy.

Given the mood of the country, I can see it. Hey, it's all the rage to compare America to the Roman Empire, especially among neo-cons.

don't ask about the Caligula plan for economic stimulus.

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2 Comments:

At 30 January, 2009 15:14, Anonymous Maire said...

Actually, Stephen Colbert did a nice interview the other night with Denis Dutton on how art from Lascaux to today helps you get laid. Sounds like conservatives doing history to me :)!

 
At 31 January, 2009 12:16, Blogger Clemens said...

Sounds more like hormonally challenged adolescent males...


.. oh. wait.

 

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