Friday, June 29, 2012

Banks are the enemy

...Nobody ever seems to have to give up anything, and nobody ever seems to lose a job, and nobody ever seems to even get prosecuted, provided they are bankers. It's like the job gives them immunity for all but insider trading, and they would probably have immunity from that, too, if we didn't have a tough and fair U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

This immunity is just one more injustice, not unlike the immunity that all of the bankers at Lehman or Bear Stearns or AIG or Countrywide received. It's not unlike the immunity the bankers received from the robo-signings. These bankers were the proximate cause of so many of our ills, yet somehow they evaded the law.

That's because banking is a lawless profession. To me these people are embezzlers, fraudsters and perhaps even gangsters in pinstripes. Their immunity makes a mockery of justice, and it explains why so many simply calculate that it's worth it, because even if they get caught, all that happens is shareholders pay. What a sweet deal they have on the rest of us.
-Jim Cramer from here.


The Anti-Gnostic said...

It's called regulatory capture.

And with the Federal Reserve as borrower, lender, buyer and seller of last resort, regulatory capture is complete.

Anonymous said...

Yep - its why the primary political enemy has the be free market ideology that supports the regulatory capture so fundamentally. Until conservatives abandon their live affair with radical and destructive market ideologies the us will continue to learch toward Armageddon.

Incidentally the right answer would have been to nationalize the banks and run them as utilities. Coupled with vigorous prosecution of bankers we could have been on a healthy track.

Alice Linsley said...

Great use of the issue to promote your socialist ideology, Anon. Already too much Washington-Banking back-scratching corruption.

Anonymous said...

But...I thought that de-regulation would create the market conditions that would, through self-correction, prevent such occurences.

Regulatory capture? You mean there's really not been de-regulation?

Oh, my.

Washington-Banking back scratching? Really? Since when did it not exist?

I think, given the situation, that Marx was right; Bankers are the enemy. Interesting that someone else thinks so.

Love contradictions especially from such outstanding intellects.

Anonymous said...

"The issue which has swept down the centuries
and which will have to be fought sooner or later
is the people versus the banks." - Lord Acton

Visibilium said...

Attacking bankers has been historically associated with attacking Jews.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

You might want to copy Jim Cramer on that one. I am pretty sure he is Jewish.

Visibilium said...

The death camps' kapos weren't Jewish, right?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I really don't see your point here. Are you seriously suggesting that criticism of banks and banking are anti-Semitic acts? If not then what are you driving at?

Visibilium said...

My original comment could be fairly interpreted as a general observation that your viewing banks as the "enemy" isn't far removed from the traditional Western antipathy toward "Jewish bankers", which, of course, is rooted in the West's traditional hatred of money interest.

You're entitled to challenge that comment, of course, and I'm willing to listen to your clarification, but your cutesy non sequitur about Cramer's Jewishness needed to be given a quick execution. On occasion, I'll view Jewish comedians' routines, and in those routines, the poignant subject of self-hatred is never far out of reach.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I was rather hoping that I was misconstruing your comment. Maybe I still am. But if you are implying that banks and financial interests can not be attacked or criticized for blatantly illegal and unethical activities because it is somehow anti-Semitic then all I can say is that think you are way off the mark. If anything your comment might be straying towards anti-Semitism by virtue of the implied suggestion that banking is somehow still a Jewish business. For the record I freely concede that Jews have a history in banking going back to the Middle Ages due to Rome's proscriptions against charging interest. But that is ancient history.

And frankly I think your comment comparing Jim Cramer to the Sonder Kammandos in the death camps was shocking. It was just completely over the top. There is no other way to describe it. I really think you need to pause and consider your words more carefully before typing. That kind of hyperbole, far from being persuasive, is more likely to offend.

Intemperate commentary can be a plague on blogs. We all occasionally say and sometimes write things in the heat of the moment that we would later like to retract. But if you are in fact defending your comments as I understand them, then I would have to say I find that disturbing.

If I am misunderstanding your post I apologize and remain open to correction.

Visibilium said...

I think at this point that we appear to be repeatedly misconstruing each other's positions, and therefore I'll exit this thread by apologizing to you for making opaque statements and for misunderstanding your views.

Happy 4th!

John (Ad Orientem) said...

No apology needed. I suspect we were talking past each other.

Anonymous said...

Alice - a) I am the first anonymous reply, no idea who the second was though his/her points are apt b) I am not a socialist and accept that some form of capitalism is inevitable and possibly necessary - in fact I consider my self to be a conservative in the technical sense of the term c) your comment simply makes my point. The bizarre attacks on John further underscore the problematic and extremist elements that are a disturbing and normative part of "conservative" discourse these days.

that the free market as an idol is the necessary enemy for anyone that values civilization, culture, family, propriety, etc is pretty much universally understood as a truism outside the us - the confusion that reigns here will probably never be resolved but it is certainly an anomaly. And most unOrthodox.