I just finished reading Anthony Trollope’s brilliant novel The Way We Live Now.
Although written in 1872, Trollope’s portrayal of the ultra-greedy businessman, Melmotte, has much to show us about the way we really do in fact live right now. As another character comments, Melmotte is ‘a sign of degeneracy’, not the cause.
Not unlike bankers and (some) politicians today, Melmotte’s claim to fame was that he ‘manufactured’ money from issuing more and more (bad) debt. In pursuing this career, he almost manages to crash the markets in the City of London.
The interesting thing is that rather than being the worldly and elegant gentleman he professes to be, in reality he’s a no-body from no-where trying to make the world believe he’s something that he’s not.
Perhaps a lesson to be learned is that ‘money doesn’t make the man’ and that such a lesson is as important today as it was in 1872.
So ladies and gentlemen, what should we make of this?