Banking in Battlefield Earth

Are Intergalactic Bankers Different from your Local Banking Officer or the World Bank?

Guest blogger John Carey

Both the Department of Defense (DOD) and NASA have created task forces to investigate Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). This increased attention leads us to wonder if aliens are out there and to consider the ways this could affect us. While most humans worry about the differences aliens may hold, their similarities may be even more frightening. What if they display the worst traits of humankind (predatory monetary lending, avarice, enslavement, etc.) while also holding superior firepower? Combine that with additional millennia to develop every technology from transportation to banking, and you have an unstoppable enemy.

What if they never out-grew imperialism or they take greed to a completely new level? How could their view on world finance affect inflation, money exchange, and interest rates? Let us look at a tiny piece of this problem to address how intergalactic bankers may not differ from the World Bank or your local banking officers.

A Banker’s Viewpoint

L. Ron Hubbard addressed the topic of alien banking in his epic science fiction novel Battlefield Earth, published in 1982. The Psychlos, a race standing nine feet tall and weighing over 1,000 pounds, have wiped the majority of humans from the face of the Earth. This enemy then enslaves small groups of humans to assist with their mining of Earth’s resources. However, even once the humans overcome impossible odds to potentially take Earth back, the intergalactic alien bankers show up to repossess our planet!

In Battlefield Earth, the banker who financed Intergalactic Mining’s drones, which gassed the majority of Earth’s inhabitants to death, tells our Colorado hero (Jonnie Goodboy Tyler), “It is just business. The bank tends to banking and the customers tend to their own affairs. It does not mean the bank was ever hostile to you. Actually we are not hostile now. This is all just routine. Ordinary banking business.”

Instead of examining things from a right-versus-wrong perspective, these bankers see things more simply from a dollars-versus-cents view. These other-world bank officers probably aren’t much different from the leaders of the Switzerland Bank for International Settlements, who probably used similar words (it’s just business) after WW II to excuse their money laundering and sheltering of Nazi gold for Hitler during the war.

The Power of Money and Gold over the Souls of Men Passes All Understanding

Our hero, in Battlefield Earth, is a man of action with little schooling. So once the war has been won on the battlefield, he now finds himself swimming in a shark-infested sea of intergalactic politicians and bankers. These power brokers are there to settle Earth’s affairs and aren’t typically living by the same honor code as our hero. Jonnie is drinking from a fire hose to gather enough knowledge of finance to understand what these capitalists are really after. One of his teachers instructs him in this passage:

Mr. Tsung had told Jonnie that finance and banking negotiations were very specialized things. He had added one phrase that had stuck in Jonnie’s mind: “The power of money and gold over the souls of men passes all wondering.”

Hearing these words, I’m reminded of the Dalai Lama’s quote when asked what surprised him most about humanity:


Because he sacrifices his health to make money.

Then, he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived.

It appears the bankers in both worlds live by the same creed concerning the power of money and gold.

Suppose we are spiritual beings, which all religions agree on. In that case, it does seem strange that man would break his word, steal, kill, and betray, all for a few pieces of green paper or some heavy yellow metal, yet the stories of degraded men doing so are innumerable.

Banking is different.

The power of
gold and
money over
the souls of
men passes
all understanding.

L. Ron Hubbard produced more than seven hundred pages of handwritten notes for Battlefield Earth.

L. Ron Hubbard Handwritten Notes for Battlefield Earth.

Fighting on the Battlefield to Battling with the Bankers

In Battlefield Earth, the intergalactic bankers have concerns that Jonnie and his comrades won’t have the money to pay off Earth’s mortgage after winning the war. So, the banker creates a brochure about Earth detailing its qualities, size, etc. He then shares it with any alien bidders at the upcoming auction.

Dries smiled and began to hand out the booklets. “Here are some brochures I made up…. It is a very pretty planet, really…. most of you have air-breathing colonies that even now are overcrowded.”

He finished handing the brochures about and the lords began to scan through the colored pictures. “… It would take a minimum mercenary force to occupy it for, as you know, its defenses are quite antiquated.…”

“… there will be an auction of this planet as a bank foreclosure and repossession in the next seven days unless suitable arrangements for payments of its debts are made—which hardly seems likely, for they are without other adequate cash or collateral or credit. Thank you, my lords.”…

Jonnie said to Dries Gloton, “So it was all just a question of money!”

Dries smiled. “We have not the slightest feeling of hostility toward you. Banking is banking and business is business. One must pay one’s obligations. Any child knows that.”

This alien approach to mortgages doesn’t sound any different from the way our own bankers operate. The World Bank finances projects in countries while ignoring the environmental, social and human—rights impacts those projects bring. Not to mention the critiques of the rules around International Monetary Fund lending. These IMF loans promote economic policy conditions which undermine the sovereignty of the borrower nations.

While we may not agree with the viewpoint, we can see their viewpoint of “Banking is banking, and it is in the business of making money.” The good news is that our current bankers can fit right into their structure if and when the aliens take over!

Money Is Everything!

At another point in Battlefield Earth, the intergalactic alien banker (Lord Voraz) is “educating” the hero on how the world works. He explains that everything can be bought and describes to Jonnie why scientists can’t own the inventions they create.

“It’s quite disastrous for a scientist to try to go it alone and manage his own developments and affairs. All companies and all banks and certainly all governments agree on this totally. A scientist is supposed to quietly draw his salary, turn over his patents to the company, and go on working. It’s all been arranged that way. Why, if he tried to do anything any other way, he’d spend all his life in law courts. That is how it has been carefully arranged.”

“So the shoes a cobbler makes belong to him,” said Jonnie, “but the developments of a scientist belong to the company or the state. I see. Very plain.”

Lord Voraz overlooked the sarcasm. Or didn’t hear it.

“I am so glad you understand. Money is everything and all things and talent are for sale. And that’s the heart and soul of banking, the very cornerstone of business. A first principle.”

“I thought making a profit was,” said Jonnie.

“Oh, that too, that too,” said Lord Voraz. “So long as it is an honest profit. But believe me, the heart and soul—”

“I’m so glad to know,” said Jonnie, “that banking and business have a heart and soul. I hadn’t been able to detect one thus far.”

Our hero believes in a world in which honorable men have rights. The alien bankers believe in the power of money and are convinced that anything can be bought. These financiers also know which way the system is rigged. Again, this doesn’t sound too far off from Earth practices, where inventors often can’t afford to patent their invention ($15–20 thousand is the suggested budget), and some can’t navigate the legal system required.

And even if an innovator obtains a patent, it would require countless amounts of time and money in legal fights to protect that patent from people and countries who infringe upon it. Yes, the legal system seems “fixed” on both worlds to keep the common person down.

At another point in the novel, the alien bankers speak admiringly of the Earth hero. They told him that when the planet is purchased, all the people are sold with it, but they have provided Jonnie a favor by exempting him from the sale. This doesn’t consider the tribe he grew up in or most of the people who fought beside him in battle against the aliens.

“How generous,” said Jonnie with cold sarcasm.…

“We have worked out an offer. We will create a technical department in the Galactic Bank and make you the head of it … provide you with everything you need, and give you a lifetime contract…. You would not lack for money.”

“And money is everything,” said Jonnie bitingly.

Both bankers were shocked at his tone. “But it is!” cried Lord Voraz. Everything has a price! Anything can be bought.”

“Things like decency and loyalty can’t be,” said Jonnie.

“Young man,” said Lord Voraz sternly, “you are very talented and have many other fine qualities, I am sure, but there have been some radical omissions in your upbringing!”

Listening to Lord Voraz’s words, his point of view seems very alien to men of decency and honor. I’m reminded of the 2008 global financial crisis, in which the banks got the world embroiled. During that same period, Goldman Sachs, AIG, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and the Lehman Brothers paid multimillions to their CEOs and other executives. These executives didn’t care about men who worked their entire lives to scrape together a small pension to live on during their retirement.

These financiers only cared about dollars and how many they could stuff into their own pockets, regardless of the outcome. If you ask me, the alien and Earth bankers have had some radical omissions in their upbringing!

Don’t Worry. It Is Possible to Outwit Alien (and Earth) Bankers

Battlefield Earth provides us with one possible view of intergalactic banking and how a World Bank would affect us if run by aliens. In this classic book, the high-finance men from other planets seem to have the same soul our Earth bankers are imbued with. The only difference is in the size of the loans.

If aliens show up one day and tack on a ten-percent interplanetary money-changing fee to our monthly statement, there may be little we can do! But until they arrive, we can agonize over whether the intergalactic bankers will differ or not from the ones we already know.

But let’s not worry too much until we see the DOD and NASA task forces’ conclusions concerning Unidentified Aerial Phenomena; it may all come to nothing! So, instead, sit back with Battlefield Earth and enjoy this great read about one possible outcome of an alien invasion. This science-fiction classic will rescue you from your worries and take you to unknown worlds!

Aliens, Bankers and Finance Systems in Space Opera

In addition to Battlefield Earth, below is a list of other space opera books concerned with aliens, banking, and financial systems that might expand our horizons and points of view. Recommended reading, in other words.


The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson (1995)

Summary: Set in twenty-first-century Shanghai, a poor street urchin comes into possession of a state-of-the-art interactive device that teaches her about various subjects. The novel explores themes of education, technology, and societal structures, including economic systems.


Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (1999)

Summary: Cryptonomicon tells two tales—one set during World War II and another in 1990. It explores the intersection of mathematics and code-breaking. The novel examines the world of cryptography and its impact on finance and information.


Accelerando by Charles Stross (2005)

Summary: Accelerando is a collection of interconnected stories spanning generations. It explores the accelerating pace of technological advancement and its impact on society, including financial systems. The novel explores concepts such as economics when scarcity is no longer a “thing” and the singularity.


The Peripheral by William Gibson (2014)

Summary: In the not-so-distant future, in the rural South, The Peripheral involves time travel, virtual realities, and the consequences of global economic disparities. The novel explores how advanced technology affects our society, including power structures and economies.


So, what are your ideas on how alien bankers would differ from those we are currently familiar with? Does anyone believe they would be so advanced that their purpose would be to help humankind or that they could come in and fix the issues with the World Bank?

I’ll be waiting for your comments!

John Carey has degrees in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science from Texas A&M University which paid the bills while he crafted his writing skills at nights and weekends. Of all of his writing, John’s non-fiction articles on the overmedication of children have been the most circulated. John has just published his second book, Not Worthy of the Air you Breathe set in the future where nations have taken a cue from the business world and terminate their low performing citizens at the end of each year.

1 reply
  1. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve read Battlefield Earth twice and still have a copy to read for the third time. I was clueless the first two times around and so took the book as “excellent sci-fi.” Since Covid was clamped down on the earth, and left us trying to figure out “what the “H” is happening, there is more to be explained in Battlefield Earth in this new light. I didn’t get the point in the book about the total power of money. There DOES seem to be people (a/k/a creatures) who do not see life beyond money & power. I’d love to know why their soul doesn’t recognize life. Is there anything more beautiful than a growing child discovering life as he moves onto living to his full potential? To the Big Bankers the answer seems to be money.

    There is a YouTube video (The Andromedans and Mentoring Humanity – Alex Collier) that mentions how the Andromedans can’t figure out why we need money on a planet we were born on! Envisioning life without money is a good exercise on the one hand . . . except I think “an honest money society” is set up for the ability to create a more exciting future . . . keyword HONEST. It would be hard to put in “good order” on earth without money.

    Negative alien bankers could probably execute plans of destruction and evil on a larger scale than the “earthly bankers” we are facing. So the negative aliens can, on one hand, be “bigger and worse” than the current “billionaires at the top” of the earth pyramid. The negative aliens have probably had their hand in messing up earth over thousands of years. But, hopefully and prayerfully, the positive aliens could come along and do exactly what you say … “help humankind & come in and fix the issues with the World Bank.” ?


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