The behavior of a fundamentalist Mormon sect may provide insight into the Bush administration's reasons for borrowing massive amounts of money and spending it on useless projects:
For more than a decade, a 9,000-member polygamist sect that believed civilization was about to end was borrowing money like there was no tomorrow.
Members of the sect - a renegade Mormon splinter group called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - took out one loan after another from the small-town Bank of Ephraim for business ventures that would prove highly speculative, even half-baked.
The Bank of Ephraim had profited for many years from higher-interest loans to the sect....But eventually the bank "got in too deep," investing heavily in increasingly risky ventures with sect members who "didn't have much to lose," Utah Banking Supervisor Jim Thomas said.
Keith Church, who joined the bank as president in 2000, said that after it failed, he learned from several people in the business community that sect members had taken a secret oath in 2000 to borrow as much money as they could to prepare for the day that civilization - along with the financial markets - collapsed.