For his part, Franklin D. Roosevelt blamed usurers, among other financial malefactors, for the crash and relentless depression; he quoted the Bible to condemn the high-interest practices that flourished in and out of sanctioned institutions throughout the nation. But a decidedly moral view of American finance, where it had existed before, was losing its influence among observers of the American economy. In a collective effort to dodge blame, various banks, lenders, and other moneyed interests began to identify the nebulous “market” as the source of the nation’s ongoing financial ills. This insistence on self-regulating markets was the culmination of a great transformation in economic mentalities that political economist Karl Polanyi called the emergence of a “market society,” where markets are imagined to possess their own intrinsic logics, mechanisms, and moods—to which humans must adjust, not the other way around. The term “market,” which before would have been a cursory reference to supply and demand, now became a self-evident defense against populist reason, one that demanded no interrogation. When asked in 1929 why he lent so much at such high rates, one executive answered simply, “I can tell you why we loaned so much money. Because there was a demand for it at excessively high rates, over and above what we could get from what we would normally invest in.” Translation: the market made me do it. Next question.