AbstractScholars have long explored the role that reputation plays in the facilitation of exchange. Some attention has also been paid to the way in which religions serve as a proxy for reputation or as a mechanism for enforcement of exchange agreements. These reputation and enforcement mechanisms enhance the ability of the members of certain religious groups to perform economic roles where such secular-based mechanisms fail or are absent. In this article, I explore the ways in which hostility toward members of high-tension religions makes them uniquely well suited to the economic role of middlemen. As illustration, I explore the particular case of the 19-super-th-century German Jewish peddler in the young United States. Copyright 2007 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..