Or what else could prompt someone to compare the criticism of high-profile bankers to Weimar Republic and Third Reich anti-Semitism?

Hans-Werner Sinn, head of the Munich-based ifo-Institute for economic research claimed just that, namely that during any crisis people looked for scapegoats and just as people had used Jews as scapegoats during the economic crisis of the late 1920s and 1930s, people now pointed their fingers at bankers.

That analogy stinks, and I think it doesn’t actually require any explanation why it does. And it is a great embarrassment that a supposedly highly educated person and one of Europe’s most influential economic researchers does not seem to see the difference between racist prejudices towards a religious minority and substantial criticism of people that indeed messed up big time, wasting other people’s money while still granting themselves generous boni.

Pecunia non olet. Impudentia olet.

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  • Except that a critical mass of the bankers were Jews. Did he implement that fact into his comparison?

  • Nope, he didn’t even suggest it. But I don’t think people are upset at bankers because of their Jewishness (in Europe, I dare say the majority is secular Christian), but because of what happened to their money.

  • Well usually ‘bankers’, ‘jews’, and ‘scapegoats’ fit together like peas in a pod.

  • I thought jews controlled the world economy? shouldn’t they be blamed a little bit if it goes out of whack.

    I also blame them for the poor programming on CBS thursday nights!

  • Yoni, I already blame them for the Yiddish version of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’. Which I think is cute, but in a way, you never know with reindeers.

  • I’m not surprised. The situation is akin to that during WWI, when the Jewish community was finally allowed to participate in the military, etc. The Jewish community were very exuberant in expressing their nationalistic fervor, writing the popular anti-British songs, etc. Hermann Cohen wrote a book directed at American Jews asking them to recognize that Germany was their true fatherland and to intervene for Germany and against American involvement in WWI. When the situation soured, the Germans turned around and blamed the Jews for dragging them into WWI. Much like the situation with the neo-cons today. Did anyone read about this today http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/spytalk/2008/10/promccain-israeli-propaganda-f.html? Aish Hatorah is campaigning for McCain!
    So there are some parallels to Jews in Weimar, but not the obvious ones.