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The Profits of Doom

March 16, 2020


While the market melts down,
we ask:

Is it immoral to profit from 
social and economic chaos?

by Henry Makow PhD

Recently I did a Twitter poll asking, "How Depressing is the recent market crash?" 

250 readers responded.  27.6% said they were "totally bummed" (12.6%) 

or moderately depressed (15%.) 

51% were indifferent, presumably not invested. 

Surprisingly 21.3% were "elated" because they were "short" the market and made a killing.

This raises a classic moral dilemma. Is it immoral to profit from social and economic chaos?

The argument for "No. It's not immoral."

The market was a bubble just waiting to burst. It was overvalued -- pumped up by money printing. The virus was just the pin prick. There is nothing "immoral" about betting against it
and making a profit.  People have a duty to protect themselves and their families from want or ruin.

The argument for "Yes. It is immoral."

If you short the market, you are betting that more people will get sick and economic disruption will get worse. You are setting up a conflict of interest in your psyche. You are not just protecting your assets; you are profiting from chaos and suffering. 

People thought they were hedging against chaos when they bought gold stocks. They have tanked. We never know what trade will succeed. We would have been a lot richer had we not bet on chaos.  

In life, it is essential to align oneself with God. Can you imagine Jesus playing the market? (or E. Michael Jones?) 

We need to align ourselves with Good. 

It's counterintuitive but the path to self fulfillment is also the path to material riches. We achieve what we cease to pursue. It's like a man getting women after he ceases to desire them.  

What is your opinion?  ([email protected])


Our minds have been programmed to measure success or failure in dollar terms. We identify with our money. Losing it is visceral, like a sucker punch. Making it is exhilarating. We feel "richer" in every sense. 

I'm not talking about people who are losing their livelihoods or living hand-to-mouth. They have a right to obsess about money. I'm talking about people who have substantial savings. They always seem to focus on the last $5000 made or lost and not on the fact that, in comparison to their needs, they have money coming out of their ears. For them, money is an abstraction, a net that enmeshes their soul. 

What does it matter how much we have as long as we have enough? Is it really worth obsessing over?  It dehumanizes us, makes us mean spirited, measuring everything in material terms. We cannot relate to other people with generosity and love. 

It's counterintuitive but real freedom comes from eschewing material concerns. 

Part Two -  Cosmic Struggle 


First Comment from David S

Please alert your readers at this time to be vigilant and to watch their peers and loved ones for signs of depression or withdrawal following a market crash. Or even during a quarantine. Sadly, suicide is a real concern among even the well-off. Same goes for financial advisors and estate attorneys when they see someone is getting their affairs in order. Research the web for suicide prevention and take the time to bring up these issues when you see the signs.

Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Comments for "The Profits of Doom "

BR said (March 17, 2020):

Is there a more available way than shorts to degrade QE to pants?

According to the standard economics theory, short-trading signals to the decision makers where the business heart and minds are, by means of putting its money where it hurts.

For example, short-trading can signal to Eurozone member-states, that the ECB is on the actual precipice, thus to make last preparations to jump ship ASAP and then exit on their own local laws.


The act itself is immoral:
The immoral and insolvent aspect of short-trading is the selling of actual holdings of 3rd parties behind there backs,
in order to be able to profit from a falling market, i.e. repurchasing the same kind of holdings on a later date at a lower price.
The allocation of actors is immoral:
Another problem is the re-purposing of PhD Mathematics & Physics to this kind of financial casino,
while starving Western industries to mental death accordingly.

The victims are of the forbidden type:
The larger stake-holders, i.e. the pension-funds, cannot follow suit and short their holdings, because their tremendous volumes of stocks are going to annihilate the share-prices. This is how the piranhas beat the retirees to poverty.

Peter S said (March 17, 2020):

Short Selling, or profiting from the doom of others is one of the tactics of Vulture Capitalism. It is also a tactic in the dialectical Illuminati Banker financial market manipulation that goes hand in hand with illuminati clarion call; “ When there is blood in the streets, buy” Short-sellers , and those who profit from the doom of others, do it because they are in the loop with the illuminati Bankers. And they expect to buy back, when “The Blood Is In The Streets” Remember the Short Sellers during 9/11 who were too hot to handle by both the FBI, and CIA? This is Satanism! This is evil.

Dave B said (March 17, 2020):

One person bets heads the other bets tails

Sour grapes.
If we see other play the games better than we do, we too often get sad and mad.
The same rules, the same odds, the same possible insight into human nature. So some do better.
A zero sum everybody wins is not possible in the game of life. Not everyone can marry the highschool quarterback or head cheerleader.
Money doesn't care who has it.
And money is not only necessary but it more often let's the richer live better, longer, happier, more fulfilling lives. It one person has a million dollars and help others in a direction that makes them and their community better. Good. Fine. And they f another keeps his or speends it pin the community on themselves.. okay
I don't want to live and the heaven on earth rule- book communist society where we are forced to be equal.

Ray said (March 16, 2020):

I have learned, that I need money to live. & I don't live for money .

BTW there are no pockets in the shroud & no safe in the coffin ??

Andrew said (March 16, 2020):

How can it be immoral to balance your portfolio with some short positions when you know the market is overvalued?

Tony B said (March 16, 2020):

It's worse than what is mentioned.

"The market," so-called, lives on speculation. Speculation is a desire to enrich one's self on the labor of someone else who is thereby cheated from his fair reward for his labor and should be outlawed everywhere.

But it's also worse than that. Those who create and operate "the market" do it to accumulate capital from others in order to have an over sufficiency of capital which enables them to create massively profitable businesses at no cost to themselves, which a hard worker and saver who attempts to start a business can never in his lifetime meet and compete with.

Both are morally criminal as well as unnecessary in life. Moreover, they are the prime reason that everyone must think "money" in order to survive. Before such concentrations of capital money was not a necessity in life. Personal effort and hard work using a small amount of nature's bounty for one's family needs were the prime necessities.

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at