Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit wrote:They are everywhere, Three Card Monty, Lottery tickets, Scratch off Lottery Tickets, Politicians, Churches (Organized and NOT B'Hai faith), Fundraisers where 80 to 90% of the money goes to the workers and Not the poor. Moist is Not in with these characters.
No. Moist is the AIG CEO who worked a billion-dollar bailout and then took a 10million dollar bonus.
He is the GM & Chrysler execs who flew their private jets to Wash DC to beg for $$ to keep their cash-strapped corps going. And then raided the pension funds.
No, wait.. that was US Air. 2 bankruptcies in 2 years, pensions wiped out (pilots, too) and the CEO got a 14 million dollar bonus.
Set a thief to catch a thief is good.
Pretty much why FDR put Joe Kennedy Sr in charge of the SEC.
Worked up until Moist's ilk de-regulated it all and sent the Dearhearts (and a lot of us) into bankruptcy.
Sorry, Tina, Moist is scum.
I have no idea what Spike sees in him. Personable, sure. Lots of snakes are fascinating to watch.
Trish, I think you are confusing Gilt and Moist. But I do think that Terry is writing about the financial world, swindles, and how they take place.
It seems to me that Moist (whose background is left--purposely I suspect--very vague) has been a rather successful con man. He has, I think, pretty much the view of the world that Vetinari expressed in G!G! that the great mass of people are a rather pedestrian kind of evil, and thus can be manipulated and deserve to be.
The diamond/glass ring trick only works, he says, because the "victim" is trying to cheat him--to get something for almost nothing. It's like the general warning about scams--if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. His thefts from the forgeries at the banks are part of the game he plays seeing if he can outwit the rich and powerful--not for personal financial gain, but as a "game".
I think that Pratchett has deliberately created a character with essentially no past, and no real relationships because he hasn't stayed anywhere long enough to develop one. Nor has he, in his own mind, done anything all that wrong--because he hasn't seen the pain he has caused. He is quite insulted and yet upset by Pump's accusation that he has murdered 2.338 people.
But Moist changes in the course of the novel. He has a talent for manipulating other people and he really is far more intelligent than average. He has been forced by Vetinari's angel trick to see people as people. Consequently, he has developed a sense of conscience by the end of the book which is why he sets out to destroy Gilt and the Board of Directors of the Trunk. He is, in fact, the only one who can do it without destroying the society, which may explain why Vetinari chose him.
If one thinks of Moist in terms of Ponzi schemes, he'd be the original Ponzi--a small time con artist who took a number of people for what was a good deal of money to them, but not on a national scale.
Reacher Gilt (which sounds a bit like guilt) is much more like the type of corporate criminal you allude to. Gilt is operating on a much bigger scale with ambition so mad that even an Igor won't stay with him. He is the Bernie Madoff, the AIG, the Countrywide Executive (and all the others) of Ank-Morpork. It is significant, however, that Vetinari has the meeting with the Board of the Trunk at the beginning, and that Gilt (like a good Republican) insists that The Trunk is Private Property and cannot be regulated for the welfare of the state. We only come to see Gilt for the ruthless eveil man he is toward the end of the book.
Gilt remains a background figure until Pratchett has educated Moist. The fake message that Moist slips into the Trunk's transmission - The Charge from the Dead - is the revelation of the major corporate criminal. And like the amoral mad being that he is, Gilt is nowhere to be found by the time the message is read out. He has left his co-conspirators to "face the music" alone.
The Board of the Grand Trunk have taken over The Trunk to loot it because the original owners were not sophisticated enough in terms of finance to realize how they were being destroyed. This really is robbery with intent to kill. And Gilt's associates, the various bankers are corrupted by him, as he says in the final speech to Igor, because they are corruptible in nature. All of them have fiduciary responsibility to their depositors, shareholders, whatever--but they are embezzling for personal gain and he tells them what they are doing and what he is doing and going to do, but they don't believe him because they don't want to.
Gilt kills--not directly but like a corporate decision, without getting his hands dirty. He kills young Dearheart and he kills Angrahammrad by accident because he was trying very hard to kill Moist. Those people represent threats in some way to his operation and he is totally indifferent to the death of Angrahammrad and the near deaths of Groat and Stanley. He kills Horsefry because, although he is a part of the operation, he is also a threat, a weak link who might expose the scheme. And slowly but surely he is killing The Trunk--the operators who are forced to work in unsafe conditions, without adequate time for repair or rest for themselves. He is in the process of destroying one of Ank-Morpork's vital institutions and bringing an economic collapse like the Great Depression.
What distinguishes his activities from Moist's is Gilt's megalomaniac willingness to destroy a whole society for his personal gain. He gives great parties, he has a regular table apparently at Le Foie Heureux, and as Arabella says--he plans to be the Patrician. In roundworld terms, he is one of the "movers & shakers", the head of insurance industries, banks, oil and coal companies, who are concerned only for themselves because they believe they are the only people who matter.
Gilt steals money and life from society because he sees society, not as real individual people, but as a mass to be manipulated for his own profit. He is a truly larger than life evil figure--who would rather die than change.