It was a highly specialized subject. And when one went wrong, like some nut named Keynes they had all become mad at, it really messed things up. What Jonnie got out of it was that the state was for people. He had suspected that was the way it should be. And individuals worked and made things and exchanged them for other things. And it was easier to do it with money. But money itself could be manipulated. The Chinkos had been great and patient teachers and Jonnie knew how to study. And with a mind like his, he got things as quickly as a traveling shot.
Yes, Jonnie learns principles of government from economic texts. Yes, the book is once again reminding us how wonderful and intelligent Jonnie is.
So the day of the big bank meeting sees Jonnie and Sir Robert square off against Dries Gloton and Lord Voraz. The aliens mention the dozens of soldiers hanging around the base and reminds them that aggression against the emissaries would make Earth an outlaw nation. Sir Robert responds that "We ha' sma' truck wi' the money changers i' the temple" and it's "Better to fight fleets than be a' cut up with bits o' paper," but "There's na thrat i' the Roosians if you tell the truth and behave. We ken this be a battle o' wits and skullduggery. But it's a battle a' the same and a bloody one!"
Yep, his dialect's back. I hesitate to call it a Scottish dialect though, since it seems to be doing whatever it bloody well feels like, and is popping in and out at random.
The alien bankers assure them that they're really the humans' best friends; since all a world's technology is liquidated when it's auctioned, they have plans for a department in the Galactic Bank for Jonnie to be head of. Jonnie sarcastically remarks that money must be everything, and when the aliens agree he insists that virtues like decency and loyalty can't be bought. The aliens talk about how scientists should work for companies instead of themselves, while Jonnie talks about how banking and governments should serve ordinary people instead of money and profits, and it's obvious that neither side can understand the other's viewpoint.
And then suddenly MacAdam and Baron von Roth burst in, exclaim that the aliens showed up early, before getting down to business. And so the chapter and section abruptly ends.
It's pretty much more talking and banking for the next five chapters.
Back to Part Twenty-Nine, Chapter Six