“He wears no crown upon his royal head,
But many millions in his purse, instead;
He keeps no halls of state; but holds his court
in dingy rooms where thrift and greed resort;
In iron chests his wondrous wealth he hoards;
Banks are his parlors; brokers his lords,
Bonds, bills, and mortgages, his favorite books,
Gold is his food, and coiners are his cooks; …”
— John G. Saxe, The Money-King, 1854
Saxe’s lengthy mid-nineteenth century poem is descriptive of the exalted financial state of the European banking families considered to be “Money-Kings.”
In 2019, many of the poem’s couplets ring familiar with today’s growing problem of income inequality.
It’s something to consider, when considering those running for office.
PS My father, Paul Sarnoff, authored a biography of Russell Sage, published in 1965, Russell Sage: The Money King. Sage banked the tycoons and helped shape the Industrial Revolution. He became one of the wealthiest people in US history.