Left Blog

Today’s left ideology made here.

Banks as public enemy

Perhaps you laugh at that.banks

Decades ago, people dressed in their best dark clothes to go to the bank. Big banks were cavernous and hushed and sported stone pillars in front – they still do – projecting a kind of oceanic permanence.

But that’s changed. These days banks shriek their wares competitively from street billboards, and most business is plastic. These days half-dressed customers in flop sandals push in the bank, shove around and sometimes curse the tellers through the bullet-proof barrier, I’ve seen it.

From earlier times as national institutions banks have lost their granite mystique. In the last few decades they have mutated: drive thru, and chic, and neighborhood, and one day a week, where I bank, the tellers wear blue jeans. Tellers were once dour, life-time employees, but now, every month, the tellers are a different set of fresh-faced credit card hustlers.

But banks haven’t finished changing.  All powerful, they once protected our money, but now people are wondering how to protect their money from the banks. They seem to loot every deposit we make with their myriad charges.

As I stood on line in the bank the other day, an older man next to me complained about the thick plexiglass at the counter, it made it difficult to understand the cashier. I shrugged, I said, the thick barriers were actually installed to protect us customers from them. He clenched his paperwork tight.

Distrust. But this is an era where many great and bright trusted institutions have suddenly inverted. Instead of reverence for them, what have we now is but shadow and half-lit suspicion. Distrust. The Catholic church, once resplendent with its spired cathedrals inspiring another kind of oceanic feeling, also once protector, now better known for its incidents of abuse.

Look, I didn’t mean to pick on the church. It’s everywhere. This is the age of big institutions not being what they used to be. Like the military, it used to be everybody was proud of our people in uniform, but now there’s sex abuse in the ranks, unprecedented suicides, and over half of homeless men are veterans. And government is another institution, it is supposed to represent the public, in which there was once a dignified senate, and we gave it our respect, and which is now corrupt.

And we can’t opt out, you have to have a government. And we have to have a bank.

But banks haven’t finished. The banks have inverted.

They inverted so far they would have failed, but for the huge bailouts. We taxpayers had to pony up hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out these banks because they were collapsing – they gambled on some risky loans and investments of their own, and lost. Then they turned around and used the bailout money to splash bonuses on their own executives. Parties.

 Even as Congress says it can’t find the money to provide healthcare for ordinary Americans, who are the public. Investment banks at this writing are furiously lobbying Congress to push back new regulations on derivatives and credit default swaps, and they know they will win. Those coiffed gentlemen want to play the very gambles again that helped drop us all into this economic mess. And they will do it again. Because they act like they own Congress. And thus you are entitled to feel violated.

And this is not for the common good.

The same banks we bailed out, turn around and foreclose on us. Make it harder to declare bankruptcy. Turn collection agents on us. Hike our interest rates. Raise fees for our overdrafts. –  In other words, extort us.

And their CEOs are reported still flying corporate jets to personal vacation spots.

And then, when we stand in line in the bank, they peer at us through those bullet-proof barriers as though we were the enemy.

We, the public.





  1. Obama is not caving in to your demands for two reasons-

    1. He wants what every first term president wants—a second term.

    2. Millenia of economic practice have proved–your ideas suck!!!!

    America is the last bastion against state control, and if you hate it so much, please leave

    Comment by Kevin | June 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Reichwinger, why are you even here??? This is a left wing site, not Beavis and Limbaugh’s Rushpublican spew-a-thon.

      Where were you when Reagan let the Savings and Loan crowd gamble with other people’s money (that would be your money!)??
      Where were you when we lost in Vietnam and then jumped right into Iraq ??

      Where were you when Carli Fiorina reduced both Lucent Technologies and Hewlett Packard to rubble and then popped her 44 million dollar golden parachute. Oh, and then there was Ken Lay, and Dennis Kozlowski, and Bernie Madoff, AIG, Goldman Sachs, and all the other plutocrat bankers ripping our government and our people off for billions of dollars.

      Where were you? reading Atlas Shrugged ??

      Comment by Vince | July 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. Right, because it is the duty of the wealthy to provide for everyone.

    Screw them! They are so successful, so good at what they do! They have enough money to go around! There are people who can’t make money, they haven’t been given a fair chance at life. They can’t help it, why shouldn’t Mr. money bags share some of his wealth?

    And they don’t want to share, so it’s morally acceptable for us to use the government as our gun… sorry, persuasive collector, to take it from them. Who are they to decide what to do with their own goddamn money anyway? The greater good should decide! The people! Because businessmen aren’t people, right? They are lizard-men who have lost touch with the people.

    Fuck you. Fuck you and fuck your blog, for spreading this parasitic, pathetic, and worthless propaganda to the world.

    Comment by Josh | July 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Another stray Newsmax reichwinger. Dude! those rich people you worship are called plutocrats. They run this country and buy the politicians who will help them to become rich. So I hope you are rich, very,very rich, otherwise you are spewing nonsense against your own well being.

      Plutocrats only want government to protect their stuff. That’s understandable if you are so rich you don’t need public education, or public police, or public retirement, or public health care.

      Plutocrats use their money to spread FEAR, HATE, IGNORANCE, and GREED among easily confused people. Your post seems to have a few of these, and they seem to have gotten to you, and you believe that common sense and goodwill are evils to be destroyed at all costs.

      Did you notice those Bluedog Democrats. Guess what, they got bought by the plutocrats. The medical and insurance industries own at least 15 senators, and these senators are going to do exactly what they are told to do. At least until they are voted out of office

      Comment by Vince | July 22, 2009 | Reply

    • What, precisely, were the arrogant thieves who ran the financial system into the mud good at? What did they do in ’07 and ’08 to earn their bonuses? What “duty” did taxpayers have to their rotten businesses? What “success” can they point to that justifies their extravagant rewards? Was it “morally acceptable” for their diseased institutions to accept a dime of public funds? Are corporations “people?” Your pained & plaintive welter of sarcasm in earnest defense of a coterie of cynical & superrich frauds (who, despite all the bile you reserve for “the government”, can nonetheless be found ubiquitously in Washington, rotating in & out as both employees & lobbyists) is quite well characterized by your own turn of phrase: “parasitic, pathetic and worthless.”

      Comment by Spankmeister | March 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. Hi there.

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    Comment by John | October 23, 2009 | Reply

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    Comment by voyance | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. Very well presented

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    Comment by JoJo Jon Jnr | November 7, 2009 | Reply

  6. All of the left posters here should look up the word “quisling” in the dictionary. Useful idiots (quislings) will be the first to be disposed of when the socialist/communist “convergence takes place. These weak minds cannot be trusted not to revolt when they finally wake up (too late) and realize they have been duped.

    Fear government, pray for the nation. Our constitution was written to protect us from the likes of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.

    See http://www.uhuh.com/nwo/communism/comgoals.htm

    Comment by RightStuff | March 4, 2010 | Reply

    • you ARE kidding right?

      “WE the PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect UNION, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the COMMON defence, promote the GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to OURSELVES and OUR Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

      Doesn’t sound like the lone gunman fantasy that Faux Noise and the Teahadists seem to think it does– in fact it sounds pretty damn COMMUNal to me.

      do better– bring your A game– and if you don’t have one, stay home and work on your game until you do.

      can’t even reference quisling properly– they were the ones cooperating with the FASCISTS– you know, the ultra wrong “reichwing” business guys?

      Comment by lateliferadical | November 30, 2010 | Reply

  7. Stockholm syndrome is what is going on here. We don’t need the banks. The Jubilee will prove that. That will be the cancellation of all debt. All of our money is debt. It’s all owed back including interest which hasn’t been created.

    Comment by Anonymous | March 13, 2010 | Reply

  8. There’s an answer to this. When banks crap all over their customers they should….wait for it……wait for it…..Go out of business! Not get bailed out. Our system works when the idiots in our government don’t get involved and “fix” things.

    As an evil right winger (actually Libertarian, not that you folks would understand the difference but for the sake of this argument just consider me evil) I hate to say it but we have no alternative to the bailed out banks we have right now. Wouldn’t it be nice to have at least one bank we could go to and shake hands with an actual person and get an honest deal on a credit card even if it had a little higher interest rate?

    I work on Wall Street and nothing has changed. We should let them fail or regulate the industry. I’d opt for letting them fail but if we must prop them up at least require them to have skin in the game on Credit Default Swaps like we do with life insurance. These naked shorts are essentially gambling.

    Comment by Jim R | March 13, 2010 | Reply

    • refresh my recollection– WHO exactly was it orchestrating the bank bailout?

      wouldn’t have been the former CEO of GSCO– appointed by the MBA “freemarketzmyazz” prez would it?

      i actually worked on a whole loan trading desk on the Street in the middle of the meltdown, and i concur– kill the industry outright or regulate the hell out of it.

      “regualtion” … so tell me, how exactly does THAT sit with your ‘Libertarianism”?

      Comment by lateliferadical | November 30, 2010 | Reply

  9. I’m just appalled at how bad America is now. It’s at a point where I don’t even use my US passport anymore (I live overseas) but use my British one instead. Americans and the US government are hated the world over since US banks destroyed the world economy yet bankers continue to pull in record profits. They really are the scum of the earth.

    Comment by Leo Sigh | October 29, 2010 | Reply

  10. nice articles

    Comment by buy authentic jordans | October 20, 2014 | Reply

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