What money, gold and gems can do to us charts millennia of human history. Money is not only a medium of exchange and a unit of account. It is also magical: it means power, control and omnipotence.
The greed for gold and money has repeatedly led to death and destruction – think of the gold rush of the Spanish conquerors in the legendary “Eldorado,” the Gold Country. Today, the unthinking greed of the already wealthy expresses itself more subtly – becoming known as the “financial crisis,” for example. Capitalism has prevailed and now calls itself the “market economy.” And so-called "neo-liberals” are content to ignore the fact that millions of people are toiling for the well-off in slave-like conditions in Third World countries.
Many say that money is the new religion of our time. Others speak of the “eroticism of money.” Money can even multiply of its own accord. It defies human comprehension: If we’re talking about trillions in public debt or the computer-generated algorithms of “high frequency traders,” then even insiders will have a hard time understanding it. Who would be surprised if things spun out control in a sector where an incredible amount of money is accumulated in a very short time? One thing is certain: Money corrupts – and has done so since time immemorial.