Jews and Money

Edmund Connelly

Editor Kevin MacDonald has just written about Our Unethical Financial Elite. This is a worthy topic, especially to the extent it openly discusses Jewish involvement.

Two things stand out here: First, the level of deceit and corruption is stunning. Second, the combination of Jews and financial malfeasance has a historical record thousands of years long. In other words, it is part of an old and sordid story, as I related in my essay The Culture of Deceit.

There I wrote how historians, including Paul Johnson (A History of the Jews) and Albert Lindemann (Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews), showed this pattern of Jewish deception and fraud. For example, in 1781 Prussian official Christian Wilhelm von Dohm published a tract claiming, in Johnson’s paraphrase, “The Jews had ‘an exaggerated tendency [to seek] gain in every way, a love of usury.’ These ‘defects’ were aggravated ‘by their self-imposed segregation . . .’ From these followed ‘the breaking of the laws of the state restricting trade, the import and export of prohibited wares, the forgery of money and precious metals.’” In short, von Dohm’s describes traditional Jewish communities as far more resembling a mafia-like group engaged in organized crime than what we think of as a religion.

Lindemann notes that during the 19th century in Eastern Europe there were also persistent complaints about Jewish perjury to help other Jews commit fraud and other crimes. For example, in Russia a neutral observer noted that judges “unanimously declared that not a single lawsuit, criminal or civil, can be properly conducted if the interests of the Jews are involved.” Writing in 1914, American sociologist Edward A. Ross commented on Jewish immigrants to America that “The authorities complain that the East European Hebrews feel no reverence for law as such and are willing to break any ordinance they find in their way. … In the North End of Boston ‘the readiness of the Jews to commit perjury has passed into a proverb.’”

Jewish involvement in financial scandals became a prominent theme of modern anti-Semitism. Johnson writes, “The Union Générale scandal in 1882, the Comptoire d’Escompte scandal in 1889—both involving Jews—were merely curtain-raisers” to a far more massive and complex crime, the Panama Canal scandal, ‘an immense labyrinth of financial manipulation and fraud, with [Jewish] Baron Jacques de Reinach right at the middle of it.’”

Lindemann offers a parallel description of the rise of Jewish power paired with Jewish involvement in major financial scandals. In Germany, Jews “were heavily involved in the get-rich-quick enterprises” of the period of rapid urbanization and industrialization of the 1860s and 70s. “Many highly visible Jews made fortunes in dubious ways . . . Probably the most notorious of these newly rich speculators was Hirsch Strousberg, a Jew involved in Romanian railroad stocks. He was hardly unique in his exploits, but as Peter Pulzer has written, ‘the . . . difference between his and other men’s frauds was that his was more impudent and involved more money.’”

Lindemann offers an account that sounds much like what Americans have been hearing about their own economic woes in the last few years:

In the summer of 1873 the stock markets in New York and Vienna collapsed. By the autumn of that year Germany’s industrial overexpansion and the reckless proliferation of stock companies came to a halt. Jews were closely associated in the popular mind with the stock exchange. Widely accepted images of them as sharp and dishonest businessmen made it all but inevitable that public indignation over the stock market crash would be directed at them. Many small investors, themselves drawn to the prospect of easy gain, lost their savings through fraudulent stocks of questionable business practices in which Jews were frequently involved.

Like Johnson, Lindemann believes that accusations of fraud against many European Jews were not based on mere fantasy. With respect to the Panama Canal scandal of 1888–1892, for instance, Lindemann writes:

Investigation into the activities of the Panama Company revealed widespread bribery of parliamentary officials to assure support of loans to continue work on the Panama Canal, work that had been slowed by endless technical and administrative difficulties. Here was a modern project that involved large sums of French capital and threatened national prestige. The intermediaries between the Panama Company and parliament were almost exclusively Jews, with German names and backgrounds, some of whom tried to blackmail one another . . . .

Thousands of small investors lost their savings in the Panama fiasco. . . . A trial in 1893 was widely believed to be a white-wash. The accused escaped punishment through bribery and behind-the-scenes machinations, or so it was widely believed. The Panama scandal seemed almost designed to confirm the long-standing charges of the French right that the republic was in the clutches of corrupt Jews who were bringing dishonor and disaster to France.

In many cases, the Jewish nexus of the financial scandal includes the idea that Jews involved in financial scandals were being protected by other highly placed Jews: As Lindemann notes, “The belief of anti-Semites in France about Jewish secretiveness was based on a real secretiveness of some highly placed and influential Jews. What anti-Semites suspected was not so much pure fantasy as a malicious if plausible exaggeration, since solid facts were hard to come by.”

Consider, for example, the spectacle of the Wall Street scandals of the 1980s. So much of it was played out on the pages of major newspapers and magazines, so there was no doubt about the identity of the vast majority of culprits—at least for those with eyes to see it.

Two writers who both had the eyes to see it and the talent to write about it intelligently were Connie Bruck—who happens to be Jewish—and James B. Stewart—who is not. Bruck wrote The Predators’ Ball: The Inside Story of Drexel Burnham and the Rise of the Junk Bond Traders. The book has more than enough information to convince the average reader that Jewish financial mischief is rife—and has a massively negative effect on the greater non-Jewish world.   

Stewart’s book is even better, beginning with its title, Den of Thieves. For those whose biblical knowledge is sketchy, the title comes from Matthew 21:12–13, where he recounts

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Stewart goes on to chronicle the misdeeds of Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, Dennis Levine, and Michael Milken, the mastermind behind it all. Simply by describing all the Jews involved Stewart makes clear that it was a cabal of Jews that pillaged and destroyed some of the most well-known corporations in America at the time by inventing and peddling “junk bonds” as an advance in capitalist operations. Lindemann was careful to include this in his story as well, writing that it had become clear that “the stock market scandals of the mid-to-late 1980s in the United States saw an overwhelming preponderance of Jews — at least ninety percent was a widely accepted figure.”

Jumping ahead to our own day, one of the best accounts of Jewish financial power—and its relationship to other forms of Jewish power—comes in the writing of retired professor James Petras. He has penned series of books starkly exposing “the Zionist Power Configuration” that includes Jewish dominance in Western finance.

In particular, his book, Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants, focuses on this, but he also addresses it in The Power of Israel in the United States, Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power, and Global Depression and Regional Wars: The United States, Latin America and the Middle East.

Here are some of the observations Petras makes: “Jewish families are among the wealthiest families in the United States” and nearly a third of millionaires and billionaires are Jewish. He also points to similar wealth in Canada, where “over 30 percent of the Canadian Stock Market” is in Jewish hands. Alan Greenspan’s tenure as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is also linked to Zionist power, since Greenspan was “a long time crony of Wall Street financial interests and promoter of major pro-Israeli investment houses.” (Greenspan was succeeded by coreligionist Ben Shalom Bernanke.)

Debunking the “high school textbook version of American politics,” Petras argues that “the people in key positions in financial, corporate and other business institutions establish the parameters within which the politicians, parties and media discuss ideas. These people constitute a ruling class.” Of the two groups cited by Petras—those in control of financial capital and Zioncons—both are so heavily Jewish as to constitute a single “cabal,” a word which Petras uses liberally throughout both books.

Wall Street supplies many of the “tried and experienced top leaders” who rotate in and out of Washington. At the top of the hierarchy, he finds the big private equity banks and hedge funds. Thus, political leadership descends from Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, the Carlyle Group and others. Goldman Sachs is a historically Jewish firm, Stephen A. Schwarzman is co-founder and current head of the Blackstone Group, while David Rubenstein is co-founder of the Carlyle Group and served in the Carter administration as a domestic policy adviser.

To get just a minor sense of the interconnectedness of Wall Street and Washington Petras is discussing—and to see its heavily Jewish ethnic nexus—note that during the second Clinton Administration, Robert Rubin served as Secretary of the Treasury and was succeeded by Larry Summers (also Jewish). Rubin worked his way to Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs prior to becoming the Secretary of the Treasury, and later became the Chairman of Citigroup. He is currently co-chairman of the board of directors on the Council on Foreign Relations.

Petras claims that former President Clinton and his economic advisers backed the regimes that allowed the plunder of Russian wealth. Though relegated to an endnote, he names Andrei Shleifer and Jeffrey Sachs as those involved. What is relevant here is the ethnic connections going to the top of American society that validate Petras’s emphasis on the combined power of Zionism, media and financial control.

Petras’s endnote shows that Harvard paid $26.5 million to settle a suit stemming from various improprieties associated with Harvard professors. As Steve Sailer illustrates, however, it is the Jewish aspect of the entire scandal that stands out. The principals of this scandal were Jews, and they were allegedly protected by fellow Jew, Harvard President Lawrence Summers (who had just finished a stint as Secretary of the Treasury). The upshot of the scandal was that the “reform” of the Russian economy “turned out to be one of the great larceny sprees in all history, and the Harvard boys weren’t all merely naive theoreticians.”

Sailer claims that he had not known about the Jewish identity of the “oligarchs” until he read Yale law professor Amy Chua’s book World on Fire (when Chua correctly noted that six out of the seven of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs were Jews, her Jewish husband quipped to her, “Just six?  So who’s the seventh guy?”). These oligarchs had “paid for Boris Yeltsin’s 1996 re-election in return for the privilege of buying ex-Soviet properties at absurdly low prices (e.g., Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky was put in charge of auctioning off Yukos Oil, which owns about 2% of the world’s oil reserves—he sold it for $159 million to … himself).” Meanwhile, Jews in Russia represented about one percent of the population.

Sailer’s further observations only cast more light on the extent and value of these ethnic connections:

As I’ve said before in the context of exploring how Scooter Libby could serve as a mob lawyer for international gangster Marc Rich on and off for 15 years and then move immediately into the job of chief of staff to the Vice President of the United States, the problem is not that Jews are inherently worse behaved (or better behaved) than any other human group, but that they have achieved for themselves in America in recent years a collective immunity from anything resembling criticism [emphasis added].

Petras makes a similar argument when noting that  “Political corruption, not economic efficiency, is the driving force of economic empire-building.” As part of this “unprecedented pillage in Russia (1991-99) brought on by Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs’s and others’ “shock therapy” in Russia, at least a trillion dollars was transferred to U.S. and EU parties from Russia and Eastern Europe.

For this so interested, here is a brief bibliography of books dealing with the topic of Jews and money:

Stephen Birmingham, Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York (New York: Harper and Row, 1967); and The Grandees: America’s Sephardic Elite, (New York: Harper and Row, 1971); Jean Baer, The Self-Chosen: “Our Crowd” is Dead—Long Live Our Crowd (New York: Arbor House, 1982); Judith Ramsey Ehrlich and Barry J. Rehfeld, The New Crowd: The Changing of the Jewish Guard on Wall Street (New York: HarperPerennial, 1989); Richard L. Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff, Jews in the Protestant Establishment (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1982); Gerald Krefetz, Jews and Money: The Myths and the Reality (New Haven and New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1982); Dennis B. Levine, An Insider’s Account of Wall Street (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1991); Benjamin J. Stein, A License to Steal: The Untold Story of Michael Milken and the Conspiracy to Bilk the Nation (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992); and J.J. Goldberg, Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1996).

Finally, there is the promise of a new book on capitalism, with due attention to its Jewish roots, by prolific author E. Michael Jones. His tome The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (order it here), shows the value in honestly discussing Jewish power and behavior. Keep an eye out for his new book. The topic of Jews and money is forever important.

Edmund Connelly (email him) is a freelance writer, academic, and expert on the cinema arts. He has previously written for The Occidental Quarterly.

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