Picking the moment when a friend's house collapses due to choosing a location in the path of a hurricane to lecture him on his lack of prudence seems as insensitive as writing about greed while Wall Street melts down. Many of us make foolish choices, and many plutocrats are undoubtedly corrupt, but it would have been better to point this out when it required some moral courage to do so.

The Bible writes about a man named Job who suffered after a prosperous period. His unctuous friends came to instruct him on his obvious sins. God took a dim view of Job's friends and I would rather not be one of them.

It is hard to blame politicians for acting as Job's friends to Wall Street since their public demands it, but pundits on the payroll of media conglomerates show little taste by piling on. As many essentially decent traders and workers go broke, it is unseemly to lambaste them for their vices even if they are real, but apparently all human sympathy is lost for one if they happen to work on Wall Street.

The failure of a great business does not have to be the result of evildoing. When things don't turn out the way we like, it is natural to look for scapegoats, but dangerous. The temptation will be to reduce our liberty to prevent the possibility of failure.

Failure is the tribute that any craftsman pays the cosmos for the possibility of success. Success is deeply meaningful to us, because in the world of liberty that God created, it is not guaranteed. An attempt to live in a cosmos without the possibility of failure is unreal and will inevitably lead to tyranny. If the God who would have the right to create such a system did not, perhaps government bureaucrats and regulators should refrain more than they do.

When this sad period is ...

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