Evidence of Medieval Central Bankers or Maybe Goldman Sachs is Older than we Thought?

Der Spiegel reports:


“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.



Skelettfund in Polen
The remains of the feared El Draghila.

(Photo via DPA)



Skelettfund in Polen
The final resting place of the infamous Greensperatu.

(Photo via DPA)



Skeleton pierced with a piece of iron is seen on display at the National History Museum in Sofia
What's left of Blank Northfein, his chest pierced by iron.

(Photo via DPA)




Hide the women and children. They live.




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7 Responses to “Strange Medieval Grave Sites Found”

  • niphtrique:

    The article is faulty in identifying the root cause of the problem, which is interest on money. Charlemagne was a wise man and he wanted people to be educated. Charlemange introduced schools but it seems to have been a waste. More than a thousand years later people still do not get it.

    The usury ban was there for a good reason because such a scheme is not sustainable and is the root cause of economic crises. You can do the calculus yourself: assume that a 1/10 oz gold coin was put in the bank on interest in the year 1 AD on 4% interest. How much gold would you have by the year 2000?

    Well… 3.6 * 10^31 kilogramme of gold weighing 6,000,000 times the complete mass of the Earth.

    Savings are backed by debt so interest (usury) is the real cause of our predicament. To some point banking is inflationary as savings can be transformed into money but the interest cannot be paid out of the existing money supply so at some point an economic crisis sets in and banking becomes deflationary and creates an economic crisis.

    Most people like to ignore this basic fact and some blame fractional reserve banking. What is the difference between a savings account and a demand deposit if you can withdraw money from savings accounts any time you want? There is a large gray area of savings accounts and deposits that are withdrawable and are substitutes for money. Banks have a transformation function as they transform shorter term deposits in longer time loans.

    The problem is sticky and cannot be resolved by ending fractional reserve banking because accumulated interest is theoretically infinite. There is a solution: ban interest and charge a fee on money (demurrage) so it is profitable to make loans at 0% interest because you can evade the demurrage in this way. See also:


    • rodney:

      Why make things easy, with a crystal clear analysis based on deductive logic, starting from axioms that cannot be denied, such as the fact that human beings act to achieve goals which they pursue in an attempt to alleviate some uneasiness (“Human Action”, Chapter I, Ludwig von Mises), when you can make things complicated, display to the entire world your mental state of confusion and come up with weird and untenable theories.

      Sure, a tax on holdings of money will solve all our problems. Because, you know, it is easy to confuse savings with money. It is also good for us to eliminate all interest, and therefore all credit, because, of course, don’t you know, all credit is bad, even legitimate credit backed by real savings, or as Keith would say, time deposits with perfect duration matching. And finally, a pearl of wisdom, we need money to circulate more because hoarding is bad, even though that’s the exact same worry that the French Revolutionary Assembly had when they first issued the assignats.

      Yes, things can get confusing when we want to build a thery without a conceptual framework.

      • niphtrique:

        Making assumptions about my mental state seems a refuge because you have no arguments.

        Vompound interest is theoretically infinite and that is a fact. Such a scheme cannot be maintained indefinitely and that is a fact. Abolishing fractional reserve banking does not solve this issue is a fact. It is impossible to refute this, without resorting to some kind of delusional thinking.

        For the rest you go on making assumptions about my thoughts, such as that I want to ban credit backed by legitimate savings, which I do not. It must be attractive to save money otherwise the idea will not work.

        Then you assume that I have no conceptional framework, which I have. We are living in controlled virtual reality and our thoughts and actions are controlled by a progamme. So, if God is willing, Natural Money will surely become the money of the future.

        I am aware of the fact that the theory has not been pointed out thoughtfully and that it needs addional source material. I am working on that, most notably on the influence of demurrage on the natural rate of interest.

  • SavvyGuy:

    Wow, summer flew by so fast! Is it already Halloween?

    • jimmyjames:

      “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.


      So… 500 years from now they will dig up massive sites of bodies that were buried with their skulls up their asses and archaeologists will conclude that these were the voters of their own demise during the 21st century?

  • rodney:

    Diggers are still searching for that most egregious of blood suckers: “QE to infinity and beyond!!!”

  • rodney:

    “Whatever it takes” seems to have had his legs cut below the knees, and “Irrational Exuberance” looks like his grave leaked water.

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