The Devil Is Beautiful

I just wanted to say that there is something really beautiful about CDSs, CDOs, and financial instruments. I mean, you have to step back and really marvel at the beauty of it all for a moment. All of this is about a kind of War against God. God sends a flood to ruin the farmers crops, so he invents an instrument to defray the costs. God says that only a certain class can own homes. So man finds a way so that you can own your home, even if you've never owned anything in your life.

There's something very Confederate about it. I mean you can study the Confederacy, and the antebellum South, and forget what you're looking at. I mean Bobby Lee was a bad-ass. It's just true. I purchased this book yesterday called The Children Of Pride. It's gigantic collection of letters written by this family of Georgia planters. Nigger, the motherfuckers write so beautifully that they will make you forget that they saw you as property. It's like they're singing to me. I mean seriously, you'll forget that they made all their money selling and trading your ass. They're  that good.


I love that Jeb Stuart quote where he goes off to fight his father-in-law, who's chosen to fight for the Union. "He will regret it but once," Stuart said. "And that will be continuously." Even their names are evocative--A.P. Hill, Stonewall Jackson, James Longstreet, William "Extra Billy" Smith. The beauty and swagger of it all will make you forget.

A couple related points: 1.) If you're in New York, and you're a Civil War buff, visit Strand down near Union Square. They have an entire section of used Civil War books. Motherfuckers damn near sent to the poorhouse yesterday. 2.) How sad is that I look CDOs and see Confederates? I've got mad issues.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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