In the 1880s, women were decades away from earning the right to vote. Few owned property, if they were even permitted to do so. In addition to childcare obligations, many toiled in work that was either underpaid, or not paid at all. Essentially, the gears of progress for women were moving slowly in just about every arena of life.
Especially when it came to money.
On Wall Street, Mary Gage found herself frustrated with being shut out of stockbroking on venues like the New York Stock Exchange, the artery of America’s growing place on the international financial stage. So, in 1880, the finance-savvy associate of suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton started her own exchange—just for women—who wanted to use their own money to speculate on railroad stocks.
Previously, women had needed to rely on men to invest their money for them; these men pocketed handsome commissions. Gage wanted to cut out the middleman and not only avoid having to pay high commissions, but make her own decisions about how and where she moved money. Gage, like many women of her era, previously had little say in her own finances.
Throughout the 19th century and into the start of the 20th, when Gage and her colleagues formed at least one exchange, stockbroking—the act of buying and selling stocks for a client—was seen as an unseemly pursuit for either gender. Some religions saw it as a form of gambling and an immoral way to make money compared with manual labor.
“It was bad enough that there were men who would do that,” says George Robb, author of Ladies of the Ticker: Women and Wall Street from the Gilded Age to the Great Depression. “But women were seen as being purer than men and that they should uphold the purity of the family. They especially shouldn’t be out in the market to make money this way.”
Critics of female stockbrokers tried to dissuade the public from investing money at the exchanges. “People also thought that women were too emotionally unstable, that when the market went up or down they couldn’t handle that—but men could,” says Robb. “Clearly that’s ridiculous.” (If anything, there’s research showing the opposite.)
Wall Street trading floors have long been seen as bastions of testosterone that rewarded, literally, those with sharp elbows who could throw a punch. But since the America’s inception, women like Gage have been essential to the history of finance and stock-trading in the country.
When they couldn’t participate or create their own market, like Gage did, many wielded influence from the sidelines. Abigail Adams had the foresight in her time to see the advantages in trading bonds over farmland and persuaded her husband, John, to do so, according to letters between the two displayed at the Museum of American Finance in New York.
Before she made her bid for the U.S presidency in 1872, Victoria Woodhull worked as one of the first female stockbrokers in the country, starting a firm, Woodhull, Claflin & Company, with her sister in 1870. The venture was part of what made her a millionaire by 31, cash that she used to promote her own campaign and other women’s rights-related causes. In finance, she landed clients like the transportation magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, a partnership that led to hefty profits for both of them (and fueled speculation in the media of a romantic liaison).
Unlike Gage, Woodhull had clients that were male and female, and saw her profits as a means to achieve her political goals. “Woman’s ability to earn money is better protection against the tyranny and brutality of men than her ability to vote,” Woodhull stated. “I demand equal pay for equal work.”
In spite of major trades and powerful clients, women in stockbroking were largely considered by their peers and the public to be a joke. When stockbrokers like Gage and Woodhull were written about in their time, it was either as sirens (if young) or witches or hags (if older). Gage herself faced “lunacy proceedings” when she accused a prominent male banker of impeding “her social progress and that of her daughter.” (Gage was arrested, but later deemed “sane.”)
Businesswoman and financier Hetty Green, once hailed as the richest woman in America, pushed societal norms further. In addition to her abundant wealth and miserly attitudes about spending or giving money, Green was known for swearing profusely and moving to ramshackle apartments to avoid tax collectors. Her strategy was one of buy and hold, investing over a long horizon and avoiding the euphoria of speculation, similar to the tactics that would later help Warren Buffett. However, he didn’t earn Green’s nickname: “the Witch of Wall Street.” (When Green died in 1916, her two children funneled some of her wealth into charitable causes.)
As women continued to struggle for legitimacy on Wall Street, they formed investing clubs in greater numbers starting around the 1920s. At the time, they worked largely in back office positions, but rumors of a woman seeking a seat on the New York Stock Exchange percolated and made the front page of The New York Times on in January 1927. A seat would have represented a trader having a permanent place on the floor, the right to buy and sell shares in the heart of the market. The Times did not even name the female applicant in its story.
“Many women now hold partnerships in Stock Exchange Firms,” The Times noted. “Some are rated as among the best brokers in Wall Street … A great many are known to have made fortunes in the stock market. All commission houses have successful women customers, some notably successful in their market operations.”
However, that woman’s effort to join the NYSE would fall flat. It wasn’t until 40 years later, in 1967, that Muriel “Mickey” Siebert would become the first woman to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, a job she performed well until her death in 2013 at 84.
While women have made some progress since Gage’s time, a gap remains. Women in finance bore the brunt of layoffs more than their male counterparts during the Great Recession in 2008 and were also more likely to have been in back office jobs that were replaced by computers. Women exclusively manage less than 2 percent of mutual fund assets, according to Morningstar. As the World Economic Forum recently pointed out, one is more likely to find a global hedge fund run by someone named Paul than a woman of any name. At the entry level, 77.5 percent of first-year bankers are men, according to Vettery.
It’s better than in Gage’s time, no doubt, but still would not have been enough for the original women on Wall Street.
Meanwhile, much of Mary Gage’s life has remained a mystery. Today, 71 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, where she once traded, has been converted into a luxury apartment building. There’s some evidence her career inspired others, however. Robb notes that according to the 1886 History of Woman Suffrage, “after Miss Gage was fairly settled, other women who had labored under the same disadvantages began to drop in, their numbers increasing daily.”
How quickly can a society shift its sexual attitudes?
For five years, El Feki talked to people across Middle East about their bedroom behavior, and what she found over and over was a seemingly deep-rooted conservatism — in which any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is unacceptable. But as she shows, Arabic literature is rich with proof that the regional culture was once far more sexually open erotic writing was produced even by religious scholars.
So what happened? El Feki points to the rise of religious conservatism starting in the 1970s — within the lifetimes of many people she interviewed. Such a rapid turnaround may seem improbable. But it happens all the time, and the past century offers many examples of societies that radically shifted their sexual attitudes. Below, the 20th century in five sexual revolutions.
Where: The United States
When: The 1920s
What changed: The Jazz Age in American life is mythologized as something of a decade-long party — and it isn’t a bad way of thinking of the economic and political factors that aligned to allow sexual expression at a level not imagined a decade before. In the rural, agriculturally dominated time that preceded it, a large traditional family was an economic asset — but by the ’20s, urbanization and industrialization had reached levels that allowed for fewer children, later marriage and more sexual freedom. Peace and prosperity after WWI called for celebration. Meanwhile, the long struggle for women’s right to vote had brought women out of the home and into the streets. But perhaps one of the most interesting things that made sexuality so visible in this time was the rise of the advertising industry, which brought sex appeal into everyday objects. In these prosperous times, not all goods were necessities — and manufacturers needed a means to market them. Earlier taboos on risqué public imagery gave way to a new truism — that sex sells.
Learn more about this shift »
When: 1930s and ’40s
What changed: The rise of the Nazi party in the 1930s brought an abrupt shift in much of German culture, including in the areas of sex and gender. Although women had gained new freedoms during the post-WWI Weimar era, and sexuality had found much greater public expression, the Third Reich enacted an astoundingly rapid reversal of this “cultural decay,” as it was portrayed in propaganda. The Nazis’ primary focus was the procreation of a pure Aryan race – and their social policies emphasized a rigid family structure that focused on childbearing. Beginning in 1941, couples required a marriage clearance certificate to show that they had been properly screened for racial purity. Though the official ideology was of dutiful marriage, the Third Reich was in practice extremely permissive of premarital and extramarital relations that fell within the bounds of racial purity and heterosexuality. As an example, unwed teenage mothers once faced serious stigma but, by Nazi ideology, were considered superior to childless married women.
Learn more about this shift »
Where: The Western world
When: The 1960s
What changed: While the Arab world was becoming more conservative in its view of sexuality, the opposite was happening across the Western world. The Civil Rights, women’s liberation, and anti-war movements sent the status quo into tumult, as the tensions and uncertainty of the Cold War hung in the backdrop. Youth in Europe and America demanded a change from their parents’ reticence about sex, and challenged their behavioral taboos. The slogan “The personal is political” called for sexual matters to be a subject of international discussion. Free love and youthful rebellion is the image that the Sexual Revolution of the swinging ’60s often brings to mind – but equally important were the sudden changes that the new technology of the birth-control pill, which hit the market in 1960, brought into the bedroom. Before the Pill, fears of unwanted pregnancy had kept many women — both married and unmarried — from embracing their own sexual desires, but with better contraception came an unprecedented expression of sexuality.
Learn more about this change »
When: The 1980s
What changed: Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong had made procreation to serve the state a tenet of his ideology. “The more people, the stronger we are,” he emphasized in his brutal Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. But after Mao, the Chinese government began to look for ways to control the country’s soaring population. A one-child policy was instituted in 1979 to address social, economic and environmental burdens –- but this required a populace that was knowledgeable about sex and contraception. Not an easy task, historically: Sexual conservatism had been a part of Neo-Confucianism from the 1100s on. Starting in 1980, books on sex began to be published where there had previously been none. Some were bestsellers. But as population control remained a pressing problem, the government recognized the further need for sex education in schools. Programs were introduced, first in high schools, and by 1988 the government had established sex education as standard middle school curriculum nationwide. Impressively, the need for family planning managed to outpace 900 years of deep cultural aversion to talking publicly about sex. After the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, a wave of political repression carried with it a return to more sexual restrictions, but sex education in China is on the rise today.
Learn more about this shift »
Where: South Africa
When: Post-apartheid – 1990s to the present
What’s changing: Generally lauded for its transition to a free democracy, post-apartheid South Africa bears a deep sexual scar — a higher incidence of rape and sexual violence than any peacetime country in the world. Compounding the problem, 10 percent of the population is infected with HIV. Some scholars view South Africa’s struggles with rape as a psychological legacy of years of institutionalized violence, both a backlash to oppression and a mirroring of it. President Jacob Zuma called for “a concerted campaign to end this scourge in our society,” and launched the Stop Rape campaign in 2013. Marches and demonstrations are held regularly in an effort to increase awareness, but many South Africans feel that only harsher punishment will act as a deterrent, and advocate a return to the death penalty, which was abolished in 1995. Weary from a decades-long culture of violence, the country is collectively seeking a way to break the cycle.
Learn more about this change»
Looking at the complexities of sex in the 20th century, a sketch emerges of the types of cultural and political changes that can ripple into every corner of a society — even its bedrooms. Far from being immutable and constant, sexual attitudes can shift with social change — for better or for worse.
PREACHING ATONEMENT: A historical review from nine decades of the Preacher’s Magazine
Last month, the Wesleyan Theological Society met in Nampa, Idaho for their annual conference. This year’s theme was the atonement. This gave my husband and me an opportunity to research and present a paper on 87 years of The Preacher’s Magazine’s treatment on the atonement. The following is the paper we presented titled, “Preaching Atonement: A historical review from nine decades of the Preacher’s Magazine.” Note: Since we co-presented, our names indicate who read which sections.
JOEY – The 1920’s in America really began on January 16, 1920 with what was called the noble experiment, or the prohibition of the sale of alcohol, and then really ended on a black Tuesday, October 29th, 1929 with the Stock Market Crash. It also began with women in the US being able to vote for the first time under the 19th Amendment in August of 1920. A decade traditionally given the title the roaring twenties.
In the middle of this decade, Hitler published Mein Kampf, A.A. Milne publishes Winnie-the-Pooh, and Martin Buber’s book, “I and Thou,” was published. America was caught up in the Scopes Monkey Trial from the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, while the world gathered to form the League of Nations. It was the decade that we saw the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, bubble gum was invented and thanks to Otto Frederick Rohwedder, for the first time in 1928, we could actually say the “greatest thing since sliced bread” – since he invented the automatic bread slicer a decade before but partnered with Wonder bread to package it. Then in 1928 we saw, or should I say heard, The Jazz Singer – the very first talkie, which slowly brought an end to silent pictures.
TAMMY – Also, in 1926, J. B. Chapman launched The Preacher’s Magazine as “a journal devoted to the interests of those called to preach the full gospel.” He went on to describe, in his first editorial, that this magazine was never intended to serve only Nazarenes, but be open to all preacher’s in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. “The central purpose will be to help preachers to preach holiness effectively where they are…,” wrote Chapman.
As such, The Preacher’s Magazine has a substantial collection of sermons, articles and commentary gathered and published across nearly 9 decades. This resource shows the traditional thinking and preaching on the atonement by a wide range of prominent theologians and influential pastors, as well as the every Sunday morning preachers of the last century.
JOEY – The purpose of this paper was to examine the 87 years of The Preacher’s Magazine’s approach to the subject of the atonement contextually throughout the twentieth century. The research that follows surprised us and after a whirlwind tour through last century, we will share our conclusions.
TAMMY – There was a crisis in the American church in the 1920’s, specifically there
was a battle waging within the American Presbyterian Church, and it affected and was reflected in many other mainline denominations. The crisis was this: with the growing popular confidence in science, in particular evolutionary theory, and the growing influence of humanism, and the rise of Biblical higher criticism, the struggle became in discovering and determining the role or influence of Orthodox Christianity would have in a modern, scientific culture?
JOEY – America was churning in what has been labeled the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy. Although conceived and developed in earlier decades, this decade truly experienced the twin births of Modernism, or liberal Christianity – and Fundamentalism. Modernist’s defined the role of the church as an attempt to reconcile new discoveries in history, science, and religion with the Christian faith. This position was supported by billionaire John D. Rockefeller and exemplified in a sermon by Harry Emerson Fosdick on May 21, 1922, titled,
TAMMY – On the other hand, Fundamentalists like William Jennings Bryan wanted to return to the basics and held that there are five core doctrines that were essential and necessary for the Christian faith and one of those fundamentals was the belief that Christ’s death was an atonement for sin.
JOEY – Surprisingly, this fundamentalist belief was echoed and affirmed in the early years of The Preacher’s Magazine. In fact, in an editorial by C. E. Corsell in the March 1926 edition, titled A Baptist Pronunciamiento, the official resolution of the Baptist Bible Union of North America was published in the Preachers Magazine to express Wesleyan’s support of the disapprovalof the principles of the Rockefeller- Fosdick “new movement,” which was the leading modernist, or liberal wave of Christianity of that day.
TAMMY – the following introduction was provided in response to the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. “It will be of genuine interest as well as information for the preachers to read the Baptist declaration relative to Rev. Harry
Emerson Fosdick. The following is a resolution passed by the Baptist Bible Union of North America at Seattle last June. It is striking and gives information as well as the splendid stand of the Baptists relative to the Word of God. The resolution follows: And for the purpose of our study, this following part of the resolution states, “Whereas . . . that we must believe in a special theory of the atonement— that the blood of our Lord, shed in a substitutionary death, placates an alienated Deity and makes possible, welcome for the returning sinner.” (pg.4, March 1926)
JOEY – A further tribute and recognition of this battle is that on the cover of the January 1, 1927 Preacher’s Magazine was a portrait of William Jennings Bryan, one of the early generals in the fight against Christian liberalism, defense attorney in the Scopes Monkey Trials, and a very strong Calvinist, who passed away just 18 months before this edition was published.
TAMMY – E.P. Ellyson, third General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, in his article The Present Crisis or Christianity verses Religion, in February of 1926, stated, “Another tenet that was held essential by those who were first called Christian was that of the blood atonement of Jesus and redemptive salvation by a supernatural new birth and forgiveness and cleansing from sin through the blood.” (pg. 8) He continues, “Nothing is found in the modern talk about religion of this blood atonement and redemptive salvation unless it be, to ridicule it or deny it and place in its stead a salvation by culture and the human will, which is reformation rather than salvation.”
JOEY – E. E. Wordsworth warned of mission drifting, or preaching on trivial things. He declared in his article, A Message vs. a Sermon that, “A Gospel message should deal with vital and fundamental things in the main . . . Preach on the great themes . . . evangelical repentance, a blood atonement, regeneration, sanctification, etc. We believe there is enough in these great themes of the Bible to occupy the minister’s time and attention for a lifetime.” (pg.
11, June 11, ’26) W. D. Sueloh, in an earlier edition in 1926 warned against distractionary doctrines and stated that to preach anything as “being equal in the atonement, with regeneration, and with sanctification, is to unduly emphasize a non-essential at the sacrifice of the essential.” (pg. 11-12, January
TAMMY – Ellyson then concludes with this response to the modernist, “They believe strongly in God and correct ethical living but they have no Christ in their Godhood, no God-man, no virgin birth, no blood atonement, no redemptive salvation through the blood, and no inspired Scriptures. This is religion, but it is not the Christianity of the disciples who were first called Christians at Antioch, nor is it the Christianity of the Church for the first two centuries of its history. Leaving out the essential differentiating tenets of Christianity it can have no just right to the name Christian.” (pg.11)
JOEY – A.M. Hill added his voice of concern about the modern preacher in 1927 stating that, “They do not believe either in the personality of God or the devil either in sin, sinners, or salvation. They take the crown of deity from the brow of Christ and reduce Him to the level of a deluded halfinsane bastard, denying His miracles, His atonement, His resurrection and ascension.” (pg.4, August, ’27)
TAMMY – A.M. Hill then made this observation about the theological education of the latter part of the decade of the twenties, “We have a host of preachers in our pulpits today, trained in our theological seminaries by infidel professors, who have repudiated all faith in the great doctrines of the Bible, the fall of man, the wickedness of sin, the necessity of atonement, the supernatural in Christianity, the deity of Christ, the personality of the Holy Spirit, and of God himself, the resurrection and ascension of Christ, and the personality of the devil. It is an abuse of language to call them Christians.” (pg. 3, September ’27)
JOEY – In a very critical article on Biblical criticism, Floyd W. Nease defended atonement and the faith this way, “It is unnecessary for me to suggest the results of critical investigation in the study of the New Testament. With the historicity of the Gospel narratives largely, if not totally, discredited, the miraculous subtracted from it, first and last, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the resurrection, and the significant elements of the atonement barred by their “principles or canons of interpretation,” the New Testament is devitalized and shrinks to the status of an Elizabethan drama.” (pg. 25, August ’27) Although we initially sided with the Baptist Bible Union and their fight against Modernism, the Church of the Nazarene parted ways with the Fundamentalists with very clear actions in the 1928 and 1932 General Assemblies, but we were also quick to point out a Wesleyan distinction on the atonement, separate from a Calvinist view, as F.M. Messemeer stated in his article Predestination, “That there is truth in the idea of predestination no one can intelligently deny, but when taught as fatalism, it destroys man’s free moral agency on the one hand, and God’s free grace offered to all men on the other. It nullifies the meaning of the atonement . . .” (pg.4, June 1, ’26)
TAMMY – However, A.M. Hill strongly preaches against a “limited atonement” based on the passage of Titus 2:11-12, where he supports grace by stating, “Making salvation possible for all men—No horrible theology here teaching that “Some men and angels are foreordained to everlasting life, and all the rest are foreordained to everlasting death and the number of each class is so definite and fixed that it can neither be increased nor diminished.. Thank God such blasphemous slanders of our heavenly Father’s grace are not found in this text, nor in any other.”
JOEY – Peter Wiskman articulated the role of the Holy Spirit in the atonement in this way, “On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost came in His full Pentecostal glory. He convicts the world of sin, testifies of Christ, applies the merits of the Savior’s atonement to the soul, leads into all truth, anoints for service. . .” (pg. 17, July, ’26)
TAMMY – Arthur F. Ingler, added to the role of the Holy Spirit in atonement in his sermon, The Cleansing of the Leper, based on Leviticus 14, where he alludes to the sacrificial ceremony, “After the blood of atonement (the work of Christ) comes the oil of anointing (the work of The Holy Spirit).”(pg. 14, August ’27)
JOEY – T. M. Anderson contributed to The Preacher’s Magazine monthly in an article titled Sermon Seed, where he offers this connection of the atonement with the Holy Spirit, “The coming of the Holy Spirit depended upon the merits of Christ’s sacrifice. It is important to emphasize this fact because the gift of the Spirit is in the atonement, and is necessary to salvation and not a mere privilege of the believer. The Spirit was not yet given, nor could be given, until Jesus paid the price in His coming, with His blood.” (pg.13, December ‘27)
TAMMY – Continuing in another sermon, this one based on Hebrews 11, T. M. Anderson affirms that “We have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way. Thus faith has full assurance in His atonement.” (pg. 14, August ’27)
JOEY – In an outline of a sermon on Christian Perfection, C.E. Cornell alluded that, “Christian Perfection was a provision of the atonement” according to Hebrews 7:10, 25 and then, continuing in Hebrews, W.W. Clay’s article, Sermon Studies in Hebrews, connects sanctification with the atonement and states that it, “portrays sanctification as the perfection of Christ’s salvation. It is perfect in that it is the full expression of the will of God for man. It is perfect in that it is the crowning gift of the atonement,” (pg.19, December ’27)
TAMMY – These were the expressions of the doctrine of the atonement as expressed in the early years of The Preacher’s Magazine.
JOEY- The battle lines were firmly fixed and there was a clear understanding of the meaning and purpose of a Wesleyan view of the atonement, how it related, not only to a believer’s salvation, but to their sanctification as well.
TAMMY – For the next several decades the Wesleyan voices on the atonement were strong and consistent remaining the same. Strong and clear. The view of the atonement was relatively unchanged.
JOEY – The voices however, became those more of leadership and theologians, and less of the average pastor – but those voices continued to echo the refrain.
TAMMY – As we approached the middle of the 1980’s, the use and frequency of the term atonement dwindled to a point where it all but vanished in The Preacher’s Magazine by the turn of this century.
JOEY – But along the way, we were hearing warnings from significant voices, like Richard S. Taylor, in an article in 1970 titled Among Ourselves, who reminded us of our foundation for preaching: “Our holiness preaching will be more on the mark if attention is always directed to the atonement as the ground of faith and to the Resurrection as our assurance of power.” (pg. 49, March 1970)
TAMMY – Another concern was addressed by General Superintendent Lawlor, “We must not stagger at preaching the glorious truth of Christian perfection. Anything less than this would be dishonorable to the atonement of Jesus Christ and the operation of the Holy Spirit. He who denies a second Crisis experience denies the full scope and design of the mission of Jesus Christ to our world. Our age, enmeshed in sin and self-centeredness, gripped by evil, and infected by fear, reveals the fact that our task is to declare the greatest need of our time—holiness.”
JOEY – Mendell Taylor, professor at Nazarene Theological Seminary continued the monthly series Seeds for Sermons with an article titled, Three Basic Principles of Holiness, where he emphasizes the doctrine of the atonement this way. “The doctrine of the atonement is clearly stated in this declaration: Christ, the infinite Son of God, laid down His life for one purpose—to redeem us from all iniquity. Christ paid the price in full to provide a full salvation, that all men can be free from all sin. He has made provision to take care of inherited sin as well as acquired sin of the power of sin as well as the pollution of sin of the sins of evil deeds as well as the sins of the disposition. This doctrinal position – should, be believed without reservation.” (pg. 25, January, 1976)
TAMMY – Dr. Taylor continued with another Seeds for Sermons titled, That’s what it is all about where he states, “the meaning of His death was, namely, to provide a remedy for our sins. He had one objective in mind —that was to take care of our sin problem. This means that His death was theologically oriented. He endured the death on the Cross, to make salvation through atonement a reality. There are two types of religions in the world. One is based on achievement, and the other is based on atonement. One is based on merit by good works, and the other on a rescue operation. Christianity is the only living religion that accents the aspects of atonement and rescue He died our death for us so He could live His life through us.” (pg. 25 June_76)
JOEY – Ralph Earle, distinguished professor of New Testament at Nazarene Theological Seminary continued the warning of
works righteousness to replace the atoning work of Christ in his article, Meditating with the Master in Matthew: Two Ways and Two Houses, when he states, “Everyone must enter the narrow gate of renouncing all his own good works as a means of salvation and accepting the one good work of Christ on the Cross as the only atonement for his sins. Then he must walk the narrow way of continual submission to the will of God, It is narrow because it is the way of a single purpose: obedience. We do not seek our ‘own’ way, but only and always His way.” (pg. 26 – March, 1974)
TAMMY – John W. Bruce, a Nazarene pastor in Ohio provided this warning in 1984, in his sermon, The Three R’s of Redemption, “Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace Never accept a view of the Fatherhood of God if it blots out the Atonement. To base our preaching of forgiveness on the fact that God loves us and therefore He will forgive our sins is to make the cross unnecessary and redemption, ‘much ado about nothing!”
JOEY – Tom Findlay, professor at the European Nazarene Bile College, in his article, A Profile of John Wesley reminded us that, “For Wesley, full salvation was the natural outcome of the death of Christ. As the finished work of Christ, the atonement is complete and the perfection which belongs to it belongs also to the new relation to God into which we enter by faith in the death of Christ. There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Their relation to God is not determined now in the very least by sin and law, it is determined by Christ the propitiation and by faith . . .”
TAMMY – Professor Finlay continues, “The position of the believer is not that of one trembling at the judgment seat, or of one for whom everything remains somehow in a condition of suspense it is that of one who has the assurance of a divine love that has gone deeper than all his sins and has taken on itself the responsibility of them, and the responsibility of delivering him from them. A relation in which sin has nothing to say but which is summed up in Christ and His perfect atonement for sin. Full salvation NOW is the burden of Wesley’s gospel.”
JOEY – the question before us this today is, is that burden of full salvation NOW through the perfect atonement of Christ all but been replaced by other priorities of the gospel? As we entered into the 1980’s in The Preacher’s Magazine, this question was asked – Who Cares About Theology Anymore? in an article by C. S. Cowles, Professor of Religion, Northwest Nazarene College.
TAMMY – In that article Cowles, somewhat tongue-in-cheek states, “Shame on you, John Wesley, Phineas Bresee, and a great host of other ‘‘holiness types,” for raising the impossibly high standard of freedom from sin and life in the Spirit. Would it not have been better to let the good Christian folk drift along believing that they were helplessly and hopelessly sinners until the day they died? That way they could cling to a magical concept of the Atonement in which God’s grace is imputed to them without radically disturbing their particular lifestyles. Just look at the splits and trauma that you initiated in the body of Christ by your devotion to your funny little doctrine of entire sanctification.” (pg. 29, December, January, February, 1979-1980)
JOEY – In this hauntingly prophetic article, Cowles goes on to say that “theology deals with absolutes, with ultimates and with truth.” Furthermore, “theology is unprofitable in preaching, unproductive in evangelism, and it is, by nature, divisive.”
TAMMY – And after that, the references to the atonement became less frequent and slowly disappeared off the pages of The Preacher’s Magazine. On the threshold of a post-modern, post-Christian World – Cowles article was truly timely and prophetic.
JOEY – One final curious note, in that inaugural year of The Preacher’s Magazine, editor J.B. Chapman and other contributors recognized that they were in the fight of their lives against the Modernists, against the liberal Christianity as represented by Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick, admittedly one of the greatest pulpiters of last century
and pastor of the historic, interdenominational Riverside Church in New York City, founded by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr.
TAMMY – But in an article in the late seventies, by pastor C. Neil Strait, he referenced a famous prayer by that very same Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick, a prayer he whispered whenever he got up to preach to his church at Riverside saying, “Somewhere in this congregation is one person who desperately needs what 1 am going to say O God, help me to get at him.” And oddly, in that same article Strait reminds us of a famous quote of Adam Clarke who said that “the gospel does not make allowance for sin it makes atonement for sin.” (pg. 22, August, 1977)
JOEY – In addition, there were subsequent articles expressing what one could learn from Fosdick, his sermons and his writings – to embrace him as an example as a preacher to follow. What does this mean? How have we arrived at this point?
TAMMY – In conclusion, we must speculate why we have this historical track, what happened? Why the disappearance of the treatment of the atonement in this Wesleyan publication in recent decades?We see four possible explanations after examining the content of recent issues:
JOEY – Perhaps, as a denomination and as a Wesleyan movement, we have become more Modernist in our thoughts and theology – less dogmatic and concerned with doctrine, but more concerned with reconciling ourselves and the gospel with our culture.
TAMMY – Another possible explanation is that because of the establishment of Nazarene Theological Seminary and the
strengthening of our religion departments in our colleges and university, and in morerecent years additional publications like Didache and other resources available, the need to explain and affirm the doctrine of the atonement, and other theological positions became unnecessary, as other, more practical needs became prevalent for the craft of preaching.
JOEY – A third possible reason was that The Preacher’s Magazine became more thematic in recent years, tackling more of the administrative and ministerial side of the preacher’s life. The need for theological clarity was replaced by practical theology equipping ministers with tools to handle the various diverse demands on the life of the contemporary minister and the average Christian.
TAMMY – One final possible explanation is that our preaching style, as a denomination and a movement, has become less
proclaiming of doctrine, and with the use of theological terms, but more relational and equipping through narrative and storytelling – giving our congregations the simple tools necessary to survive in this complex world.
JOEY – There you have it, 87 years of The Preacher’s Magazine’s views on the atonement – but what does the future hold? One final observation, as we have spent nearly nine decades defining what The Preacher’s Magazine is and is not, we must admit that it is not meant to be a theological journal – but a preaching resource – and even though theology informs our preaching, it may not enter into the discussion anymore, and for good reasons.
TAMMY – As the new editor of The Preacher’s Magazine, this publication is adapting to the digital age, it is now an online publication attempting to reach a new generation, a new age, with a global voice – not just select voices and not only from America, but from all regions of the world. The Preacher’s Magazine is inspiring the pastor’s heart with a passion for preaching.
Best female traders 2018
6. Tracy Britt Cool
Tracy initially began her career growing vegetables and flowers in her parent's company, which she was not fond of. As she committed herself to the task at hand, her attitude and tenacity certainly paid dividends. She studied at Harvard, and was employed at Berkshire Hathaway, where Mr Buffet is the CEO, and where he noticed her potential. Tracy Britt Cool isn't an attention-seeker. She doesn't need the spotlight or bombastic rhetoric on small screens and pressers. She is quite serious and dedicated to her job.
5. Abigail Johnson
Abigail Johnson is the daughter of Edward C. Johnson III, Chairman of Fidelity Investments, and also the granddaughter of the company's founder. She became President and CEO of the company in February 2014, where analysts had speculated that she had been groomed for the role. Being part of the family no doubt helped Johnson get to her position today. The company has a long 71 year history, with nearly $2.25 trillion of its assets under management, and $3.5 in assets under administration. That being said, Fidelity has a lot at stake to simply place upon a family member in charge on that sole reason. Johnson has an MBA from Harvard, and has worked up the chain, starting out in customer service, then moving onto an analyst position, before progressing to an equity portfolio manager position within Fidelity for at least a decade, before finally becoming an executive.
4. Jennifer Fan
Jennifer graduated from business school with degrees in finance, statistics, and operation research at the tender age of 19 whilst most "kids" her age were just beginning college. She was employed first at Morgan Stanley, and later became a partner and portfolio manager at Arrowhawk Capital Management over a 10 year horizon. She has now launched herself a $650 million hedge fund that she is skillfully running now. Jennifer is a hedge fund manager specializing in finding relative value in energy and agriculture markets. In 2014 she started to work at the New York based Millennium after closing Arbalet Capital in 2013. Millennium is a global investment management firm, with about $20 billion under their management.
3. Linda Raschke
Linda Raschke began trading professionally from the early 1980s, working as a market maker in stock options. She worked at the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange and then the Philadelphia Stock Exchange for a total of 6 years before working for herself as a day trader.
She now is the president of LBRGroup Incorporated, as a commodity trading advisor, and with LBR Asset Management as a commodity pool operator, with both companies bearing her personal initials. Raschke lectured on trading for a number of prestigious organizations, including the Managed Futures Association and Bloomberg, whilst also authoring a book on high probability trading strategies, which has been largely publicised. Linda is very experienced in trading and definitely a veteran in Wolfe Wave technical research. If you want to read more about how she trades you might want to consider the following book - "Street Smarts: High Probability Short-Term Trading Strategies". Additionally, Forex Factory forums also mention Wolfe Waves. Be sure to check them out and test them with Admiral Markets' demo account, and see if you can achieve the same success!
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2. Raghee Horner
"There is no "one way" in trading. I know what I know, I use what I use, and I trust what I trust." - Raghee Horner.
Raghee Horner is a valued contributor to John Carter's Simpler Trading. Her focus is on Forex, Currency ETFs, and Futures. Her job and enthusiasm, along with a combination of technical skills and analyses make her an excellent trader. She started trading in high school, first by drawing the charts by hand, and then calculating all the indicators by herself. Raghee is the creator of the famous 34 EMA wave method. A few applications of this method can be found in various studies at Forex Factory. She is one of the best female day traders out there.
For those wanting to know more about her strategies, you might also want to check out her webinars on Youtube and her Twitter account @ragheehorner. Try out Raghee's strategies for yourself through MT4 with the Supreme Edition plugin, and see if they work for you!
1. Kathy Lien
After graduating from the New York University Stern School of Business at the tender age of 18, Kathy began working at Wall Street. She spent 13 years in the financial markets, mainly focusing on G20 currencies. Beginning at JPMorgan Chase, she worked on the Interbank FX trading desk, making moves in the foreign exchange market, then later in the cross markets in the proprietary trading group, where she traded a bevy of instruments ranging from FX spot, options, interest rate derivatives, bonds, equities, and futures.
Later in 2003, Kathy joined FXCM, where she helped set up DailyFX.com, a globally known foreign exchange research portal. She managed a team of analysts as a female pro trader and Chief Strategist, providing research and commentary on foreign exchange markets. In 2008, Kathy moved to Global Futures & Forex Ltd, providing research and analyses to clients, and managing a global foreign exchange analysis team as the Director of Currency Research. Kathy is often cited on a host of media platforms including Bloomberg, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch, Associated Press, AAP, UK Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, and many other leading news publications. Kathy is now the Managing Director of FX Strategy for BK Asset Management, and the Co-Founder of BKForex.com.
Kathy has also published an international best-selling book "Day Trading and Swing Trading in the Currency Market", along with a second publication "The Little Book of Currency Trading and Millionaire Traders: How Everyday People Beat Wall Street at its Own Game". Kathy's experience in developing trading strategies using cross market analyses, along with her years of market research in predicting economic data surprises, are the main components of her analytical techniques. She is also a valued contributor to the famous Fxstreet.com website. Follow her on Twitter @kathylienfx.
The situation is very simple. Either you are going to be a trader, or you are not. There is no middle ground here. No matter how badly you trade, the only "fatal" trading mistake you can make is blowing out your account and exhausting your equity completely. Anything short of that, you can recover from and become a profitable trader. In this article you have learnt that trading is not strictly reserved for men. We have also learnt that famous female traders possess a rock solid discipline, and are naturally more risk averse then their male counterparts. Having a trading discipline will definitely help you recover even after some serious losses. Make a plan and never forget:
You need to exercise the discipline&hellip even if you already have it.
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This material does not contain, and should not be construed as containing, investment advice or an investment recommendation or, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not reliable indicator for any current or future performance as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisor to ensure you understand the risks.
More than a broker, Admirals is a financial hub, offering a wide range of financial products and services. We make it possible to approach personal finance through an all-in-one solution for investing, spending, and managing money.
20 people who helped shape the financial planning industry
A look back at the past 50 years in financial planning wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the professionals who have helped make the industry what it is today.
But before we do, let us first acknowledge that it would be impossible to include everyone in this group who deserved recognition. In choosing these 20 individuals, we have tried to highlight those we thought were influential in molding the industry either through their ideas or actions. Some, like Lewis Kearns, were true pioneers. Mr. Kearns was a leading presence at the December 1969 meeting that laid the groundwork for the financial planning profession. Others, like William Bengen, who came up with the 4% rule for retirees, are known for prominent theories.
Still others, like Ric Edelman and Joe Duran, have been chosen for creating successful business models that are pushing the business of financial planning to new heights.
We’re sure that some critics will quibble over worthy individuals left off our list, but we are also confident that few will question whether those included deserve the honor.
SP vs. MNRO: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?
Investors looking for stocks in the Consumer Services - Miscellaneous sector might want to consider either SP Plus (SP) or Monro Muffler Brake (MNRO). But which of these two stocks offers value investors a better bang for their buck right now? We'll need to take a closer look.
Everyone has their own methods for finding great value opportunities, but our model includes pairing an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system with a strong Zacks Rank. The proven Zacks Rank puts an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, while our Style Scores work to identify stocks with specific traits.
Right now, SP Plus is sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), while Monro Muffler Brake has a Zacks Rank of #5 (Strong Sell). The Zacks Rank favors stocks that have recently seen positive revisions to their earnings estimates, so investors should rest assured that SP has an improving earnings outlook. But this is only part of the picture for value investors.
Value investors also tend to look at a number of traditional, tried-and-true figures to help them find stocks that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.
Our Value category grades stocks based on a number of key metrics, including the tried-and-true P/E ratio, the P/S ratio, earnings yield, and cash flow per share, as well as a variety of other fundamentals that value investors frequently use.
SP currently has a forward P/E ratio of 15.74, while MNRO has a forward P/E of 31.28. We also note that SP has a PEG ratio of 1.57. This figure is similar to the commonly-used P/E ratio, with the PEG ratio also factoring in a company's expected earnings growth rate. MNRO currently has a PEG ratio of 2.41.
Another notable valuation metric for SP is its P/B ratio of 2.66. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, MNRO has a P/B of 3.51.
These metrics, and several others, help SP earn a Value grade of B, while MNRO has been given a Value grade of D.
SP is currently sporting an improving earnings outlook, which makes it stick out in our Zacks Rank model. And, based on the above valuation metrics, we feel that SP is likely the superior value option right now.
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DEFINING THE AMERICAN ECONOMY
The term "market economy" describes an economy in which the forces of supply and demand dictate the way in which goods and resources are allocated and what prices will be set. The opposite of a market economy is a "planned economy," in which the government determines what will be produced and what prices will be charged. In a market economy producers anticipate what products the market will be interested in, and at what price, and they make decisions about what products they will bring to market and how these products will be produced and priced.
Market economies foster competition among businesses, which typically leads to lower prices and is generally considered beneficial for both workers and consumers. A planned economy, on the other hand, is directed by a central government that has a far greater degree of influence over prices and production, as well as tighter regulation of industries and manufacturing procedures. The United States has a "mixed economy," which combines aspects of a market economy with some central planning and control to create a system with a high degree of market freedom along with regulatory agencies and social programs that promote the public welfare.
This mixed economy did not develop overnight. It has evolved over more than two centuries and has been shaped by American experiences at various times with hardship, war, peace, and prosperity.
Organizing Their Lives and Communities
A different but related set of problems involved social and political organization. At first, the very idea of creating new human communities in far-off lands seemed strange and perplexing. What defined a colony? What shape should it have, and what relation to the metropole? Who would be its on-site personnel? How should it be governed? These were, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, all open questions, for which the promoters and founders had somehow to find answers. The English monarchy left them largely to their own devices, offering high-sounding charters but little in the way of direct support and guidance. Some colonies were designed and funded by joint-stock operations, others by wealthy proprietors (either singly or in small groups). All were expected to be revenue-producing. And all would supposedly be ruled, in top-down fashion, by boards of officials in the mother country.
But expectations were one thing, outcomes another. Distance and the unforeseen difficulties of life on the colonial ground threw most of these founding plans off-track. Within a generation or two, effective governance had migrated, along with the settlers themselves, to scattered venues across the “new” continent. In Massachusetts, in Virginia, and later in New York and Pennsylvania, home-grown legislative bodies sprang into being and assumed an increasing measure of control. Indeed, the same decentralizing process developed even at the local level, as individual counties and towns took charge of their own affairs. This process, like the heavy reliance on unfree labor, seemed to reverse prevailing trend-lines in England—where, especially after 1660, the governing center (the monarchy) was gathering more and more power to itself.
Decentralization and local autonomy did not, however, mean democracy in any modern sense. Virtually everywhere the reins of power were held by elites. This was most obviously true in the southern colonies, where a small pool of “gentlemen” dominated the membership of county courts, and thus controlled a wide range of both administrative and judicial affairs. Typically, these courts would handle taxes, land titles, estate probates, poor relief, militia training, and many other matters of everyday concern. New England’s system of town-meeting government offered wider scope for popular participation leaders were chosen annually by vote, and policy was decided the same way. Still, voting itself was limited to a certain portion of townspeople—in the earliest years, church members only (in short, a religious test) later on, those who exceeded a specified level on the tax-list (a property test). Either way a majority might well be excluded. And since these possibilities concerned men only—nowhere in colonial America could women vote—the limiting process was effectively doubled.
Still other constraints were culturally determined. The aim of voting, where and when it might occur, was to reach a unanimous outcome (a consensus) conversely, majoritarian rule—deciding policy by head-count, for and against—was disapproved. Seventeenth-century colonists had no concept of a loyal opposition to the contrary, political opposition meant disloyalty, possibly treason. (To be sure, this attitude began to weaken in the eighteenth century, as the actual workings of colonial politics became increasingly fragmented and factionalized.) Last but hardly least, deference was a core principle of political, no less than social, life. Communities were thought to consist of “superiors” and “inferiors,” of the “gentle” and the “common,” or the “high-born” and the “low.” Ordinary people were closely attuned to cues emanating from their “betters,” whose opinions should always carry decisive weight.
The weakest point in this system was the position of the elites themselves—not in their authority over ordinary folk, but rather in their relation to each other. The process of settlement and community-building had created a certain openness at the topmost level. Social credentials, like family pedigree, counted for less on this side of the ocean than on the other. And sudden opportunity—a bonanza tobacco crop, a market success in a rapidly expanding town or county—might push a few men far up the local wealth scale, and embolden them to claim a commensurate political role. In short, leadership might become contested to a degree rarely seen in the more firmly established communities of the Old World.
Conflict among rival elites peaked in a sequence of violent events during the last quarter of the seventeenth century. Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia (1675–1676) was a case in point. Though partly an “Indian war”—Virginian frontiersmen versus the native Susquehannocks—this was also a power struggle between two of the colony’s “great men.” William Berkeley, the governor, faced a direct challenge from Nathaniel Bacon, a “high-born” planter and self-styled champion of the rebels. A dozen years later a similar dynamic helped energize an uprising in New York, generally known as Leisler’s Rebellion. As with the Virginia case, this event took the name of its leader, Jacob Leisler, a wealthy merchant and militia officer who chafed at his exclusion from the highest levels of the colony’s government. Both rebellions came near to success, but ultimately failed. There were similar, though smaller, disturbances in Maryland and Carolina at around the same time. And in Massachusetts, the existing government was overturned in response to the so-called Glorious Revolution in England (the ousting in 1688 of the Stuart line of monarchs, and its replacement by King William and Queen Mary). Taken as a whole, this cluster of conflicts showed deep fault lines in the domain of leadership.
But it was a passing phase. As one century yielded to the next, colonial society attained a more solid and settled shape. The position of the leaders seemed increasingly secure, within and without their own ranks. For “common” people, too (excluding those on the frontier, and Indians and blacks) life had become less precarious and more predictable, if still quite modest in its rewards.
LOGF produced only nine of the contracted 12 films, and didn&apost generate much income, eventually going bankrupt. But Iwerks is credited with having helped Walt Disney create the iconic "Mickey," whichisney was first inspired to draw reportedly after observing a small house mouse that inhabited his office at LOGF.
In the early 1920s, Walt and his brother, Roy, moved out to California and founded what became Disney Bros. Studio in October 1923, starting out in the rear of a small office occupied by Holly-Vermont Realty in Los Angeles, where they paid $10 a month for the space.
Before the mouse known world-wide as Mickey made his debut, however, Walt and his brother Roy produced a series of short, live-action animated films called "The Alice Comedies." But the pair beganuilding up a staff, and within four months moved next door to a larger space, where the sign "Disney Bros. Studios" was first hung. Among those joining the Disney Brothers in California was Ub Iwerks.
A year later, in 1925, the brothers made a deposit on a Hyperion Avenue lot in the Silver Lake part of Los Angeles. Construction of the new studio began not long after the lot was purchased. And in the 14 years of the company being located on that new lot, Mickey Mouse was born just three years after its initial purchase, in 1928. He was soon followed by Pluto, Goofy, Donald Duck and the rest of the now-well-known Disney characters.
With the release of the company&aposs first full-length animated feature film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," to critical worldwide acclaim in 1937, Disney realized he needed yet more space.
With profits from "Snow White," he put a deposit down on 51 acres of land in the nearby community of Burbank, and began designing a modern studio for the purpose of making animated feature films.
Disney was involved with all aspects of the design of the new facilities, from the layout of the buildings to the design of the animators&apos chairs.
We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn't We?
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Nathan Wolfe, who studied how viruses move from animals into humans, worked with Munich Re, a big reinsurer, to insure companies against pandemics. PHOTOGRAPH: CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK
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“It's really a 100-year thing,” Nathan Wolfe said. It was 2006, and Wolfe, then a 36-year-old virologist with an unruly nest of curly hair, was sitting across a table from me at a bustling restaurant in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. An epidemiology professor at UCLA, he had been living in West Africa for six years, establishing a research center to identify and study viruses as they crossed over from wild animals into humans.
Photograph: Christie Hemm Klok
That night Wolfe told me he was forming a network of research outposts around the globe, in hot spots where potentially devastating viruses were poised to make the jump: Cameroon, where HIV likely passed from chimpanzees into local hunters the Democratic Republic of Congo, which had seen human outbreaks of monkeypox Malaysia, home to a 1998 emergence of the Nipah virus and China, where SARS-CoV had crossed over, likely from bats, in 2002. Wolfe's hope was that by understanding what he called the “viral chatter” of such places, it would be possible not only to react more quickly to outbreaks but to forecast their arrival and stop them before they spread. The “100-year thing” he was thinking about was a global pandemic, and how history would judge humanity's efforts to prepare for it. His biggest fear, he said, was a virus unknown to human immune defenses starting a human-to-human transmission chain that would encircle the globe.
As we knocked back Cameroonian beers and talked between sets of a local band, he admitted his project could fail. “It could be that we look at this and it's stochastic—you can't predict it,” he said. “Or, it could be that we are on the edge of a paradigm shift.” The ultimate question, Wolfe added, was “Will people look back and say you did a good job responding to epidemics, but you didn't do anything to prevent them?” The 100-year notion so captivated me that I used it as the last line of a story I wrote in 2007, in this magazine.
Thirteen years later, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus burned across the globe this March, it appeared that the 100-year judgment had arrived. Weɽ failed both at preventing the exact danger Wolfe had warned us about and at responding when it emerged. He wasn't the only pandemic Cassandra, of course. Not even close. Scientists, journalists, and public health experts had sounded the alarm for decades, filling journals, government reports, and popular books with their pleas. There were conferences, commissions, hearings, exercises, consortiums. Every few years another near-miss epidemic emerged that cried out for long-term preparation.
But Wolfe was the Cassandra Iɽ known, and I couldn't help wondering what it felt like to be living through the pandemic you predicted. We had corresponded a few times since 2007, and Iɽ followed his career sporadically as he started a company called Metabiota. As best I could gather, he had transferred his original idea of a disease surveillance network into a kind of epidemiological data company.
I dug up his email and wrote to him. “It must be a strange sensation,” I said, “to have been terribly right about something you didn't want to be right about.”
When he called me the next afternoon, the US had just passed 4,000 cases of Covid-19, and Wolfe sounded beleaguered. “Right now I'm a little bit—what's the right word for it—overwhelmed,” he said. But he seemed decidedly unenthusiastic about discussing his own prescience. “I'm not interested in Monday morning quarterbacking,” he said. “If you are the person who says the sky is falling and it falls, you definitely feel like saying ‘Why didn't people listen to me?’ But there are a lot of people saying the sky is falling about other things, and it doesn't.”
Nor was he particularly interested in casting blame—in offering an I-told-you-so from the intrepid virus hunter. “Plenty of people can speak to that,” he said. “It's like Good Vibrations: I don't want to play that anymore. I have a new record.” Now 49, Wolfe had traded the Cameroonian jungle for the conference rooms of Silicon Valley. When I saw him on Zoom, his shoulder-length locks were gone, and his quarantine beard was shot through with gray. But he had the same glow of enthusiasm I remembered. His new preoccupation, he told me, was pandemic insurance.
I'll confess this didn't immediately pique my interest. The word insurance evokes in me feelings of tedium and loathing. Like many Americans, my personal interface with the industry has, let's just say, been less than positive. But then Wolfe began to explain the unexpected direction his career had taken. After years of thinking about epidemics in terms of the symptomatic and the dead, heɽ begun considering their economic ramifications. A global pandemic, and the steps we would take to stop it, would mean business closings, layoffs, and mass unemployment. Preparing to face an outbreak, heɽ come to believe, required anticipating those impacts.
This was where insurance came in, specifically a kind of pandemic insurance policy—for businesses, and perhaps even for countries—that would pay out as soon as an epidemic reached a certain threshold. In 2015, Metabiota had partnered with German reinsurance giant Munich Re and American insurance brokerage Marsh to develop and sell a policy specifically to guard large businesses against pandemics—to stanch the financial losses and keep them afloat. Theyɽ launched it in mid-2018, a year and a half before the first Covid-19 cases appeared in China.
My sense of tedium evaporated. As Wolfe and I were talking, a total economic lockdown was in place, with millions of jobs disappearing by the week and lines at food pantries stretching by the hour. And here he was saying that they had come up with a kind of financial vaccine for exactly this scenario, released not long before the worst pandemic in a century. It wouldn't stop the virus, of course, but it could help alleviate some of the misery that flowed from it.
How must those CEOs feel, I wondered aloud, who had the foresight to buy the world's first pandemic business insurance? What a story they would have to tell.
There was just one problem. “By and large we failed,” Wolfe said. “Not because we didn't do the models well. We enabled the first business-disruption insurance for pandemics. But nobody bought it.”
I was so stunned I called him up a few days later to ask him again. Did he mean literally nobody bought it?
“As far as I know, nobody bought the policy,” he said.
It was a life insurance quandary that first got Gunther Kraut thinking about pandemics, nearly a decade ago. A mathematician by training, Kraut was working at Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers. As it sounds, reinsurance is the business of insuring insurers. The local and national insurance companies that you and I buy life or auto coverage from—the Geicos and Allstates of the world—need their own protection against rare but catastrophic events that might create enough claims to bankrupt them. Reinsurance companies provide that backstop on insurance for everything from homes and infrastructure projects to business losses and individual lives. Reinsurance is a staggeringly lucrative endeavor: Munich Re had $56 billion in revenue and $3 billion in profit last year. The market is large enough that its perennial competitor, Swiss Re, took in $49 billion itself.
Kraut, sandy-haired and still slightly boyish-looking at 39, grew up near Munich, where the eponymous company has dominated the economic landscape since its founding in 1880. He talks about the intricacies of underwriting with a friendly patience that implies he has done so countless times before, none of which have dimmed his passion. He gravitated toward math at university, and, he told me, “it's hard to study mathematics in Munich without ever learning about the existence of reinsurance companies.” After completing his PhD in risk management and insurance at Ludwig-Maximilians University, he took a job as a quantitative analyst in Munich Re's life insurance division in 2007. “Reinsurance is sometimes called the business of a hundred professions,” he said. “Because you don't just have mathematicians and lawyers and businessmen. You have former mining engineers. You have former captains who steered ships across the ocean. You have art experts who are specialized in art insurance. It is, if you like, always close to life. Admittedly with a little bit of this negative view on it.”
Munich Re—a company built to absorb the risk of others—had a risk problem of its own: namely, the possibility of a global pandemic. Insurance is essentially the business of quantifying risk and then smoothing it out. But for a worldwide outbreak, the math in its life insurance portfolio looked worrying even to Kraut and his colleagues, who spent their careers pondering the darkest risks. In late 2011, Kraut's team decided to try to do something about it.
“Let's take the example of Munich and car insurance,” Kraut told me. “That's a very, very stable business.” A local company might insure tens of thousands of cars, each with a certain probability of having a small accident. “You can predict very well how much money you will have to pay on the claim settlements, and hence how much premium you will need to collect,” he said. But let's say that one year there is a freakishly large hailstorm in Bavaria, damaging half the cars in the portfolio. The resulting claims could be an extinction-level event for an insurance company. Such storms may occur statistically only once every three decades—a one-in-30-year event, in risk parlance—but every car insurance company would have to keep enough cash on hand to pay out on claims on half its cars, just in case. “That's a lot of money you need to put aside for something that happens very rarely,” Kraut said.
Now consider an auto insurer in Paris with the same problem: a fleet of cars, a predictable number of accidents, the threat of a one-in-30-year hailstorm event. Herein lies the mathematical advantage of reinsurance. If Munich Re pledges to cover both companies against freakish hailstorms, “what we can assume with a high chance is that there will be hailstorms in Paris, there will be hailstorms in Munich, but most likely they will not happen in the same year,” Kraut said. That means Munich Re can set aside less money to prepare for a rare event. Even better: The more car insurers that Munich Re adds to its portfolio, in more geographical regions, the more it can convert a rare and expensive risk into a predictable and cheaper one for itself. In insurance it's called diversification. “The more that you can spread the risk, the better for making it insurable,” Kraut said. “That's why reinsurance companies are global companies.”
The math applies to other insurance “perils,” as they're known—earthquakes, floods, wildfires. And ordinary deaths, most of the time. But therein lay the problem for Kraut, who was partly responsible for making sure the company's life insurance division didn't shoulder unsustainable risks. Local disease outbreaks were like the hailstorms of life insurance: rare and devastating regional events that could be counted on to happen at different times in different locales. “Now you quickly see the problem with insuring pandemic risk, because a pandemic is by definition a global event,” Kraut said. Imagine a hailstorm spreading from town to town, across the globe, in a cataclysmic chain: “The whole concept of global diversification doesn't work out anymore.” An outbreak on the scale of the 1918 flu—50 million dead worldwide—might be a one-in-500-year risk, an event way out on the tail of a probability curve. But a pandemic at that scale, or even one considerably smaller, could not only overwhelm life insurance companies but Munich Re too.
To tackle Munich Re's exposure, Kraut's team began attempting to quantify and price this incredibly remote, unpredictable risk. If they managed to do that, they would then need to sell part of that risk—to find someone willing to insure the reinsurer. “No one really had tried to do a transaction at a one-in-500-year return period,” Kraut said. His boss gave it a 50–50 chance of success.
But over the course of two years, the group gradually built up a list of potential buyers. It turned out that there were a few large institutional investors looking to diversify their own portfolios, and a little bit of pandemic risk was just the thing. Munich Re would provide them with annual payments, year after year. In the rare event of a pandemic, they would have to cover Munich Re's losses. One interested class of investor—if a macabre one—was pension funds, which typically grapple with something called longevity risk: the chance that people will live longer than expected. “It's not really good terminology to call it a ‘risk,’ ” Kraut said. “It's a good thing, technically! But if people live a lot longer than expected, then a pension fund needs to pay out a lot more pensions than they originally calculated.” A deadly pandemic that takes the lives of pensioners, to put it in the most clinical terms, means fewer years of pension payouts, canceling some of the longevity risk. Should no pandemic arise, they would pocket payments from Munich Re. By 2013, Kraut and his team had put together enough investors—starting with a large Australian pension fund—to take some of the pandemic problem off of Munich Re's books. But he soon encountered an unexpected hitch: The mechanisms written to trigger the deal relied on a series of “pandemic phases” monitored by the World Health Organization. (Phase 1: Virus is circulating in animals. Phase 2: Reports of human infection. Phase 3: Human-to-human transmission. And so on up to Phase 6: Sustained outbreaks in multiple regions.) Sometime in 2013, however, the WHO abandoned this system for a less specific four phases. Kraut suddenly needed some other organization to delineate the stages of epidemics reliably enough to write into an insurance policy. And he needed someone to monitor epidemics closely, to know when they hit agreed upon triggers—illnesses, deaths, spread. “But you can't just hire the WHO,” he said.
In studying up on the world of epidemiology, Kraut happened to have picked up a book called The Viral Storm. It was written by Nathan Wolfe. Part memoir, part prescription, the book laid out a vision for how to counter the threat that novel viruses represent to humans. Kraut looked up Wolfe and saw that heɽ formed a company. “I thought, oh, maybe these guys actually can do it,” he said. He sent an email to [email protected] “Hello, have you ever heard of a reinsurance company? I might have a good reason to talk to you.”
Nita Madhav, an epidemiologist, spent 10 years modeling catastrophes before coming to Metabiota. She's now the company's CEO.
PHOTOGRAPH: CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK
As it happened, Wolfe was already thinking about the business shocks of pandemics when Kraut's email arrived in Metabiota's inbox in 2013. By this time, Wolfe's public profile as an Indiana Jones-like virus hunter had been well established. Heɽ been featured on CNN and had given the obligatory TED talks. Heɽ walked away from his tenured position at UCLA, moved to San Francisco, and founded Metabiota. Wolfe leveraged his academic work into the private sector, using the data from his network of research stations to conduct disease surveillance for clients. For years, the company subsisted largely on government contracts, including more than $20 million from the Department of Defense and aid agencies involved in managing epidemic outbreaks. Metabiota also partnered with the foreign assistance agency USAID on a project called Predict, helping to build a database cataloging viruses in their animal reservoirs and forecasting which ones might jump to humans. “There was some success,” Wolfe told me. “Some money was put into prediction and prevention. Not enough, obviously.”
As Wolfe started to appear on stages alongside business leaders, he became convinced that the commercial sector had seriously underestimated epidemic risk. In 2010 he sat on a panel at Davos called “Prepare for a Pandemic.” In advance of the talk, the organizers circulated a survey showing that while 60 percent of CEOs believed the threat of a global outbreak was real, only 20 percent had an emergency plan in place. That same year heɽ been invited to a cruise industry conference. Heɽ tried, without luck, to convince executives that Metabiota could help them avoid the havoc of an epidemic. “I felt like nobody was paying attention to it,” he said.
Then Gunther Kraut's email arrived. Kraut and Wolfe met up at a conference in Munich and began riffing. Soon Metabiota was providing disease monitoring for Munich Re's life insurance division.
“There is a bit of financial alchemy to the whole thing,” Wolfe said. “You really are creating something from nothing.”
Kraut, however, had an even more ambitious idea in mind. What if, instead of simply hedging its own life insurance business in the case of a pandemic, Munich Re could use the same concept to insure other businesses against them? Business interruption insurance, the policies that protect companies against income losses from disasters like fires or hurricanes, often explicitly excluded disease. (And when it didn't, insurers could still use the ambiguity to deny claims.) The risk was thought to be too large, too unpredictable to quantify. But Munich Re had already proven it could cover its own life insurance risk in pandemics, and now it had a partner in Metabiota that specialized in seemingly unpredictable outbreaks. What if they could create and sell a business interruption insurance policy that covered epidemics, starting with acutely vulnerable industries like travel and hospitality? They could then pass on the payout risk from those policies to the same types of investors who had bought their life risk. “There is a bit of financial alchemy to the whole thing,” Wolfe told me later. “You really are creating something from nothing.”
At the same time, Wolfe had been working to operate Metabiota more like a technology company. In 2015, he hired Nita Madhav, an epidemiologist whoɽ spent 10 years modeling catastrophes at a company called AIR Worldwide, one of a handful of firms the insurance industry relies on to compute extreme risks. (Munich Re, in fact, had worked with AIR epidemiological models in its life insurance calculations.) Madhav's mandate at Metabiota was to build the industry's most comprehensive pandemic model. Her team, which eventually grew to include data scientists, epidemiologists, programmers, actuaries, and social scientists, began by painstakingly gathering historical data on thousands of major disease outbreaks dating back to the 1918 flu. Her colleagues had recently created what they called the Epidemic Preparedness Index, an assessment of 188 countries' capacity to respond to outbreaks. Together, the two efforts informed an infectious disease model and software platform. A user could begin with a set of parameters around a hypothetical virus—its geographic origin point, how easily it was transmitted, its virulence—and then run scenarios exploring how the disease spread around the world. The goal was a model that could, for example, help a manufacturer understand how a disease might impact its supply chain or a drug company plan for how a treatment would need to be distributed.