11/20/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tithing is So Republican

In the tradition of Republican the-business-of-government-is-business governance, Wall Street is reported to be skimming 10% off the top of the bailout. Incredible as this seems, that is the story reported over the weekend by Britain's The Guardian newspaper and, oddly, not widely headlined in the U.S .

Mr. Paulson, et al, still do not seem to understand that self-regulation by the financial industry does not work. Self-regulated theft is still theft.

Interestingly this installment provides an update on the old question of whether there is honor among thieves. If by "honor" one means that rules are followed in distributing the spoils, the answer apparently is "yes." If by "honor" one means ethical or moral behavior, I leave it to you to reach your own conclusions.

What started as a liquidity crisis has, by many accounts, degenerated into a solvency crisis. If so, this "tithing" is not only theft; it is stealing the seed corn ... aka: let tomorrow take care of itself, I'll take care of myself today (with the funds to which you thoughtlessly gave me access). J.P. Morgan would be offended.