Occupying many hours of thought and conversation in Jersey at present is talk of the impact of recession on the finance industry in particular.
The talk is of tough times now – and tough times ahead. Little is said by one competing Jersey business to another about actual plans to beat the recession. To do that could be a form of suicide. The ideas might be stolen – and used.
Ever since the very earliest pre-historic times man has not only been in competition with man but also, in order to conceal the true extent of that competition, has sought for and largely achieved confidentiality - a cover for their actions.
The ancient and well-preserved (by the Jews) book of Genesis at the beginning of the Christian Bible shows Adam and Eve "going it alone" aside from their Creator and the only God.
The immediate outcome of doing this (see bold above) was the use by each of them of a cover-up (fig-tree-leaves). Eve no longer wanted Adam to see all she had. Adam no longer wanted Eve to see what he was thinking. Why? Because their former community of interest in each other’s good had been modified. Now that they had decided to disobey the vertical (from whom all gifts had come - even life itself) they each needed to watch out for their own interests.
And their own interests now were no longer identical despite being man and wife. They had been earlier – both were devoted to their Creator God and to helping (truly blessing) each other.
The second outcome was also inevitable. See bold above. They hid themselves also from their good and generous creator with whom they had enjoyed wonderful fellowship. No way, they said, not when we’re naked. Somehow, that’s where most people in Jersey are today: avoiding eye contact with anyone to whom they may be accountable and who might be able to “see” them completely.
But much worse was to follow – and this has a bearing on “Finance” during the recession. Competition (and jealousy) became so fierce between Adam and Eve’s children that one of them kills the other. And covers it up.
Murder has always been wrong - but many millennia later even murder and killing for gain remains alive and well on planet earth - and confidentiality and cover-ups are part and parcel of that competition (and those murders and killings) across the globe.
Within that competition scenario Jersey lives out its days. It is a scenario where individuals (acting for themselves as well as for companies, small and large) pursue gain against all competition (including tax competition) that might reduce that gain in any way. And those individuals in their earnest pursuit of gain ensure as far as possible that others, who might seek their market share or to take away in whole or in part the profits they are making, are kept unaware of business information or competitive secrets or potential or actual tax demands.
Yes, Jersey will continue to seek that all its financial businesses operate lawfully and that its laws are not unjust or immoral and do not damage the weak or the poor. But “business is business”........ Mankind is “free” - to compete and cover.
It is Jesus Christ alone who has taught and demonstrated - to the death – that his way is to give his life for his sheep, so that they will have brand new life, abundant and long-lasting.
He is the shepherd who leads the way of escape from that long-standing competitive scenario, which will continue to have such devastating consequences, especially in recession.