Evidence of Medieval Central Bankers or Maybe Goldman Sachs is Older than we Thought?
“A chilling find has been made in Poland: at least 17 skeletons buried with the skulls severed and placed between the knees or hands. That, say archaeologists, is how vampires used to be interred, to stop them rising from the dead.
Construction workers building a road near the town of Gliwice in southern Poland this month came across four skeletons buried in a bizarre way. Their skulls had been cut off and placed between the knees or hands of the dead. Later, a further 13 skeletons arranged in a similar way were found.
Adding to the mystery, nothing — no jewelry, remains of clothing or coins, not even a button — was found on the bodies.
Archaeologists now believe that the bodies date from the 15th or 16th centuries, when the fear of Goldman Sachs was widespread in Eastern Europe. Lukasz Obtulowicz, an archaeologist from the monument protection office in the nearby city of Katowice, said there were clear indications that this was the site of a vampire burial, noting that stones had been placed on the skulls. "All this served to prevent the vampires from returning to life," he said in a television interview.
Graves Close to Former Execution Site
The office's chief archeologist, Jacek Pierzak, told Polish newspaper Dziennik Zachodni: "It was one of the most common forms of burying vampires." The office could not immediately be reached for comment.
It can't be ruled out that the dead were executed, because the site lies close to where a gallows used to stand. So far, a total of 43 graves have been unearthed there, and historians hope to learn more about the skeletons by studying court files and church logs on executions.
The skeletons are being removed for tests to ascertain their age and the possible causes of death. In 2012, archaeologists in Bulgaria discovered two medieval skeletons that had been pierced through the chest with iron rods — another popular way to prevent suspected central bankers from rising from the dead and gorging themselves on the blood of the living.”
Obviously, we have taken a few small liberties with the text above. Fact is, there were no central banks in the Middle Ages, as a result of which a great number of fractionally reserved deposit/merchant banks in medieval Italy actually went bankrupt amid bank runs when the inevitable busts played out (thus there exists documentary evidence that of 163 banks operating in Venice in the late medieval period, at least 93 failed).
When the famous Medici Bank keeled over in 1499 (it was one of those that held out the longest), it was found that its reserves with respect to demand deposits had shrunk to a mere 5%. The Medici Bank was the Goldman Sachs of the Middle Ages. Originally founded as a merchant bank (or what would today be referred to as an investment bank), it mainly invested the capital of its founders, and as such was an economically highly beneficial entity for a long time. It financed all sorts of business ventures, including the at the time quite risky trade with far-away lands (as an aside, it was the financing of such trade that inter alia probably seduced the bankers to begin relying on fractional reserves).
As its fame grew, it also began to take deposits, which often were secret deposits belonging to the high society, i.e., the 1%ers of its time. Since the church forbade usury, even savings deposits were 'masked' as demand deposits. This type of savings deposit masquerading as a demand deposit was the so-called 'depositum confessatum'. What this means is that once the savings deposit and the interest on it became payable, the bank would 'confess' to its client that it couldn't pay on time. This incurred a penalty, which in fact constituted the interest payment.
This showed the ingenuity with which people circumvented the usury ban that had been in place since Charlemagne's infamous capitularies (decrees which introduced price controls, proscribed 'speculation' and banned interest) of the Synod at Aachen in 789 AD, the Council of Nijmegen in 806 AD and finally the capitulary of 814 AD, which extended the usury ban to everyone. Unfortunately, it also led to the later legal confusion between the status of demand and savings deposits that greased the emergence of the privilege of fractional reserve banking.
Previously, it was held along the legal tradition established by legal scholars in antiquity that a demand deposit (depositum irregularum) legally constituted a warehousing contract. Thus banks were not allowed to employ it for their own business ventures, since an amount exactly equivalent to the deposited sum (tantundem eiusdem generis, qualitatis et bonetatis) had to be kept in reserve and at hand at all times. This is of course exactly how it should be.
The remains of the feared El Draghila.
(Photo via DPA)
The final resting place of the infamous Greensperatu.
(Photo via DPA)
What's left of Blank Northfein, his chest pierced by iron.
(Photo via DPA)
Hide the women and children. They live.
Year-End Fund Raising Drive
Dear readers, our year-end funding drive has become a “beginning of the year funding drive” as we have yet to reach our target. By now you will be familiar with the many advantages a donation can secure for you, which range from sounder sleep, to children including you in their songs, to potentially obtaining privileges in the afterlife (no guarantees, but it seems highly likely). Lastly, a special thanks to all readers who have already made a contribution, we are greatly honored by your support.
Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke
7 Responses to “Strange Medieval Grave Sites Found”
Most read in the last 20 days:
- Gold and Gold Stocks – A Meaningful Reversal?
A Negated Breakdown There have been remarkable gyrations in the gold sector lately. The typical rebound out of a November/December low (typical in recent years after the end of the tax loss selling period) was initially cut short in January in the course of the global stock market decline. This was a bit surprising, because it was widely held that the recovery in the gold price was a result of said stock market decline. Photo via genius.com We suspect that in it was...
- Inflation-Spewing Dragon
Dovish Cooing from the Desolation of Draghi As Reuters informs us, on the heels of Mr. Draghi's somewhat “disappointing” attempt to assassinate the euro on occasion of the previous ECB meeting, the chief European printing press supervisor and certified monetary crank has decided to assure everyone of his ultra-dovish stance again on Thursday, by announcing that even more monetary insanity must be expected soon: “Fading growth and inflation prospects will force the European...
- The Bank of Japan – Ringing in the Endgame?
Let's Do More of What Doesn't Work It is the Keynesian mantra: the fact that the policies recommended by Keynesians and monetarists, i.e., deficit spending and money printing, routinely fail to bring about the desired results is not seen as proof that they simply don't work. It is regarded as evidence that there hasn't been enough spending and printing yet. BoJ governor Haruhiko “Fly” Kuroda: is that a windshield I'm seeing? Photo credit: Yuya Shino / Reuters At the...
- An Ice Cube for Gulliver
Panic! 9,000 Billion Tons of Ice Lost in Greenland! Have you ever wondered why they called that place up north “Greenland” instead of, say, “Whiteland”? The reason is that at the time humans first moved there, much of the place was in fact green....as it was a lot warmer than it is today, when allegedly, we are shortly all going to be roasted due to global warming (those living in coastal ares are supposed to drown before they have a chance to burn for their carbon footprint...
- The FOMC Decision: The Boxed in Fed
An Imaginary Bogeyman What's a Keynesian monetary quack to do when the economy and markets fail to remain “on message” within a few weeks of grandiose declarations that this time, printing truckloads of money has somehow “worked”, in defiance of centuries of experience, and in blatant violation of sound theory? In the weeks since the largely meaningless December rate hike, numerous armchair central planners, many of whom seem to be pining for even more monetary insanity than the...
- To Hell in a Handcart
$5 Trillion up in Smoke POITOU, France – Pessimism is a sin against God, said money manager Charles Gave. It suggests ingratitude. And a lack of faith. After all, this is God’s world. What, not good enough for you? That’s why we are always optimistic at the Diary. Things don’t always go the way we would like, but they always go the way they should. Yes, the world may be headed to Hell in a handcart… but it’s for its own damned good! Mild surprise down in hell...
- Hollande's Socialist Wonderland
Everything's an Emergency If memory serves, France remains in a state of emergency on account of the terror attack in Paris in last November. As terrible as terror attacks are, they are a statistically insignificant cause of death and injury in developed nations. It is also worth noting that the countries that seem most prone to suffering terror attacks are the ones that are most active in intervening militarily in foreign countries. This is probably no coincidence. Just...
- Unsound Credit and Risk Assets – How Serious is the Situation?
Loan Losses and Rumors We want to briefly comment on recent news about a rise in loan loss provisions at US banks and rumors that have lately made waves in this context. The iceberg – an excellent simile for what we know and what we don't know... or rather, what we don't know just yet. Image credit: Ralph A. Clevenger First though, here is a look at the Philadelphia Bank Index (BKX) as well as its ratio to the S&P 500: Investors seem increasingly...
- Skyscraper Mania Goes Global
New Skyscrapers Wherever one Looks Readers may recall our recent discussion of the construction of the Jeddah Tower (see “Soaring to Bankruptcy” for details). This skyscraper is a typical symptom of an artificial boom that has moved past its due date, so to speak. The idea behind the skyscraper index is that in light of the immensity of projects that involve the construction of the tallest building in the world (or one of the tallest), they are only realized once the notion that boom...
- The End Is Nigh for the Fed’s “Bubble Epoch”
Market Mythology LONDON – Twice in the last 15 years, markets have tried to correct the mistakes and excesses of the Bubble Epoch. Each time, the Fed came back with even more mistakes and excesses. Trillions in new credit… lower lending rates… easier terms… ZIRP… QE… and the Twist! The gaggle of price-fixers the job of which is to regularly falsify one of the most important price signals in the economy. The idea that the economy can be “improved” by the...