We mention it here not out of some cheap ploy to channel populist outrage, but instead because it stands as a reminder of the historical forces that so often conspire to take revenge upon such creators of prosperity as Andrew Hall.
The first to settle there were canons regular of St. Augustine who established an abbey or canonry at Derneburg in 1143. In 1213 it became an Augustine women’s canonry when the Bishop of Hildesheim settled canonesses regular there from the nearby abbey in Holle. Derneburg began to flourish and its endowments and properties grew rapidly. The abbey took over the neighbouring village of Astenbeck (whose own history dates to 826) and many other properties in its vicinity. But in time the very success of the Derneburg abbey became its downfall. The Augustine sisters, perhaps enamoured of their economic success, were taking an increasingly liberal interpretation of their religious obligations (and those of the Augustines were already more relaxed than the ones of other orders). By the beginning of the 14th century their reputations started to suffer, endowments declined as did the fortunes of the abbey. By the beginning of the 15th century the sisters were paying scant regard to their holy duties and the reformer, Provost Johanes Busch became so scandalized by the situation at Derneburg that he tried to get the sisters evicted. This in turn led to an attempt on his life, suspicion for which fell on the sisters. In 1443, Busch’s successor, Heinrich Barnten, Abbot of Marienrode had the Augustine sisters literally carted out of Derneburg.
And 566 years later, the angry hordes are at it again, ready to cart “brilliant” traders like Andrew J. Hall away from their elite cocoons within the nation’s preeminent zombie banks.
But while he languishes in lucrative obscurity at a hedge fund, let us remember what magnificent innovations he brought our most dysfunctional financial institution:
A few years ago, for instance, Mr. Hall, 58 years old, anticipated an important shift in the way the world valued oil, and correctly bet that long-term and short-term energy prices would abandon their historical relationship with each other.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.