The Economist

Anti-Semitism: Another cost of bigotry
The Economist

The assertion that Jews “control” finance is commonplace among anti-Semites. A new academic study* finds that people who live in areas of Germany where persecution of Jews was most intense are less likely to invest in the stockmarket, even today.

The relationship has very strong historical roots. People who live in districts from which Jews were likeliest to be sent to concentration camps under the Nazis are 7.5% less likely to invest in stocks than other Germans; those who live in districts where pogroms occurred during the Black Death (back in the 14th century) are 12% less likely to do so. Surveys also show residents of such districts are less likely to trust the financial sector.

The effect of this distrust is that German savers in such districts earn lower returns, because they have lower exposure to the stockmarket. “The legacy of Jewish persecution—distrust of finance—has hindered generations of Germans from accumulating financial wealth,” the authors argue. In other words, “Persecution of minorities reduces not only the long-term wealth of the persecuted, but of the persecutors as well.”

Un rappel que l’antisémitisme et l’anticapitalisme s’abreuvent aux mêmes sources. L’anticapitalisme des Québécois explique probablement aussi pourquoi autant de Québécois détestent Israël.