Comparing The Pardoner's Tale And The 2008 Financial Crisis

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The Pardoner’s Tale and the 2008 Financial Crisis In Chaucer’s “The Pardoner’s Tale,” The Pardoner preaches the aphorism “Radix malorum est cupiditas,” or greed is the root of all evil (8). This proverb is timeless as exemplified by the 2008 financial crisis in the United States of America, which arguably was rooted in unrestrained avarice. The Pardoner demonstrates this principle through the allegory of three rioters who begin their journey with the noble intention of killing death only to succumb to the temptation of greed. At one point, they encounter an old man who informs them that death is under a nearby tree, in reference to the gold florins that are waiting there. When the rioters find the treasure, two of them agree to murder the third. At the same time, the third plots to poison the other two. Ultimately, their selfishness for …show more content…

In Thomas Cushman’s article, “The Moral Economy of the Great Recession,” he alludes to the borrowers’ greed when he states, “Many American homeowners bought houses they could not afford, signed mortgage agreements they could not understand or which were misleading, and took equity out of homes as if they were cash machines.” In the end, many borrowers lost their homes in foreclosure and never financially recovered. The lenders are the second of the key figures. Their loans were insured by the government, which further drove their greed, as repayment was guaranteed. This drove lenders to approve mortgages for individuals who could not afford them. Eventually, the government-backed insurance was all but depleted, resulting in a housing bubble burst and financial crisis of 2008. Lastly, investors are the third key figure, as they bundled these loans into investment securities. In their scheme to bundle as many loans as possible, they encouraged lenders to further lower their standards for both loans and documentation

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