Thanks Dan, Rothbard’s analysis is astonishingly prophetic. It should indeed be compulsory reading for all masters of the sub-prime universe. Perhaps the Wall Street slickers should also be taken to a performance of Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens. The other day, as the stocks were tumbling, my father emailed me with the following extract from a scene in which Timon, scratching for roots in the woods, digs up gold:

What’s here?
Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?
…………………………Thus much of this will make
Black white, foul fair, coward valiant.
Ha, you gods! Why this? What’s this, you gods? Why, this
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads.
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions, bless the accursed,
Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves,
And give them title, knee and approbation,
With senators on the bench. This is it
That makes the wappened widow wed again,
She, whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores
Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
To th’April day again.

[And later]

Oh thou sweet king-killer, and dear divorce
Twixt natural son and sire, thou bright defiler
Of Hymen’s purest bed, thou valiant Mars,
Thou ever young, fresh, loved and delicate wooer,
Whose blush doth thaw the consecrated snow
That lies on Diane’s lap! Thou visible god,
That sold’rest close impossibilities,
And makes them kiss; that speakest with every tongue,
To every purpose! O thou touch of hearts!
Think thy slave man rebels, and by thy virtue
Set them into confounding odds, that beasts
May have the world in empire.

As my old man says, “I reckon that we are almost there.”