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Video: The Bankers as the Enemy of Humanity

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This video is stunning, in that it is an articulate and well done rant that will resonate with many readers. The fact that it appeared on Karl Denninger’s site (hat tip reader Scott, Denninger’s been very critical of the TBTF banks) is an indication that the level of frustration with the major banks’ refusal to take responsibility for wrecking the global economy and their efforts to preserve their ability to loot is moving to a new level.

I’m sure there are readers who are employed by banks who perform modest and blameless jobs. Those of you might consider how the abusive policies of the major players are creating anger at everyone in the sector (save obvious small fry like community banks and credit unions).

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131 comments

  1. F. Beard

    There is a way out, even for the bankers – a universal bailout of the entire population plus fundamental reform.

    1. PQS

      CBS’ “Sunday Morning” had a segment on the $1T sitting in Corporate America’s vaults and indicated that that would be enough to give everyone in America $10K.

      Ought to go a long way toward narrowing that “Most Americans don’t have even $1K at their disposal” gap…

      1. F. Beard

        Actually, it would take $2.26 trillion to give every US adult $10,000. And we need not take it from the corporations; we could just “print” it up.

        1. Andrew Dabrowski

          OK, we’ll settle for $4K.

          And better to take it from the Banksters. Just printing it up is so inflationary.

          1. F. Beard

            Just printing it up is so inflationary. Andrew Dabrowski

            Actually it could be done without increasing the money supply by :

            1) Forbidding the banks from any more counterfeiting (so-called “credit” creation) pending fundamental reform.

            2) Metering the bailout checks so as to just replace existing credit as it is paid off.

            All private sector debt could be eliminated by this means. Since every adult would receive equal bailout checks, the savers would not be disadvantaged.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Hyperbolize much?

    Still, the author deserves an ‘attaboy’ for the Townes van Zandt citation (from ‘Pancho and Lefty’).

  3. Let the Drugs do the Thinking

    I wonder why the Treasury department isn’t hated, scorned and the subject of wrath. Would that be too un’Murican and interrupt the flow of propoganda?

    1. JTFaraday

      Nope. Not with the Goldman Treasury boyz doing smack with Bam and Timmy in the Oval Office. (That is one ill used desk alright).

      So, have at it.

  4. Triangulum

    In one of Ken MacLeod’s sci-fi novels, in the 24th century the worst insult insult one can use by far, “spoken with a sneer and a pretend spit”, is ‘banker’.

  5. No More Mr Nice Guy

    Dean Baker, always an enjoyable economist to read, notes that Bush, two years into his third term, appointed Bill Daley to be his chief of staff. The former J.P. Morgan vice-president Bill Daley. He intended this appointment to help get people back to work.

    1. Salviati

      Bush’s third term? I thought it was Reagan’s eighth term in office. The fact that he died has no bearing on his ability to govern, the man has been brain dead for decades.

      1. Jim Haygood

        As the Argentines say about tango singer Gardel, “Cada día canta mejor.” — every day he sings better!

  6. Next

    Do you hear that? Some peacecorp guy just landed a chick with this video. Vague enough to blame [insert anything] and avoids providing any real evidence as to why.

    1. Woodrow

      It’s not vague to anyone that hasn’t been turned into a mindless zombie. Money laundering? Check. Wachovia (now Wells) for the drug cartels. Food prices? Check. We’ve seen bets placed on the other side resulting in people literally going hungry and food prices skyrocket.

      I’m in the open-season camp, but we’re not there yet.

  7. Antifa

    Poetically accurate, in that yes, there is a class of crooks atop our economy bleeding it to death.

    But it is not just bankers. It is a multi-generational crop of politicians who inevitably turn to following the money instead of governing the nation.

    The current crop of bankster greedheads could be brought into line in a matter of days by a group of honest politicians whose interests lay in governing the nation.

    But there is no such politician allowed anywhere near the halls of power under the current, privately financed system.

    So the bankers own Congress, fair and square, having bought it at the going price. With government in tow behind the banks, there is no reason to expect the current system to improve or change short of collapse under its own control frauds and scams and fraudulent numbers.

    Which it seems intent on doing. There is no mentality in Congress or on Wall Street of guiding the nation or looking out for the people of the nation, just lust for greater wealth and power among a smaller and smaller cadre.

    After a certain amount, wealth has no meaning if it is not expressible as power over others, over other nations, over the world at large. At which point no amount of wealth or power will satisfy human nature — insanity commences.

    1. Chuck

      I agree 100%. People talk about “bankers”, “CEOs” and “politicians” as if they were different classes people.

      Banks ARE corporations, and politicians ARE CEOs! It’s no mstake that the corporate class has usurped the government–they’re the only ones with enough money to gain public office! Do people really think they make all of their connections on the Hill? They do it on the golf courses and at the country clubs YEARS before you have ever even heard their names.

      That’s your aristocracy, Third Estaters.

  8. Because

    Actually, the bankers are nothing more than the lagdogs………of the global capitalists, the true people to hate.

    The economic ponzi schemes of China and Texas are a good example of this. Structurally, their economies appear sound, but internally, they are dying. Boosted by high population intake(Texas mainly through mexican immigration) and lax regulation on wealth controls, they have created a weak infrastructure high inequality landmine that will implode. Once we have the credit-anstalt event, both will completely implode. Corporate cash will flee Texas as business shuts down globally. Texas will lose the ability to handle the massive amounts of Mexicans as Medicade is shutoff. Their economy will be as bad as California’s if not much worse. Unlike states in the Northeast or Northwest who can handle a crisis of that magnitude due strong infrastructure, Texas will be dead as riots and unrest split the state in two. Texas is a good lessen where low wages, weak regulation and being on the federal welfare dole simply is not a good long term growth strategy. If anything, they should be ashamed. It gives the allusion of boom and “independence” when you are really a low life welfare queen.

    China as Texas, is in a similiar state. Their political body are the corporate leaders. They build big homes and live lavish styles. But they have allowed the infrastructure to deplete while shoving workers into low paying jobs and little health care. Sound familiar. Unlike Texas, China’s “capitalists” handle state policy……to enrich themselves. They may be able the waves of credit seizure better than Texas, but the calamity will kill the “middle managers” lifestyles and party connections as the elite will seek to keep power as those same “middle managers” rebel from the poverty they will be thrown in. The episode of past Emperial and Maoist era power fights will be remembered. Millions will be killed in the intra-party civil war.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      We of the NE megopolis have weathered punishing de industrialization and come out on the other side of the capitalist market revolution of the late 20th in one piece more or less. Texas does not quite seem real, off of the coastal areas. Too dry, too remote, headed for a waterless future that no amount of cowboy hats and boots can deal with. And there is the fact that it was stolen from Mexico at gun point. Really, what a bunch of international terrorists.

    2. chad

      hey that’s a lot of anger torwards Texas for no apparent reason. If “high population intake” from Mexican immigration is so great then why isn’t Arizona booming?

      Also, what do you mean by no infrastructure exactly? Do you mean that in a literal sense or is it a metaphor? I live in DFW and from the looks of the constant new construction on public roads, toll roads, and public transportation (DART and TRE rail + nat. gas conversion of the bus system) there seems to be a lot of physical infrastructure if that’s what you meant.

      I know DFW isn’t all of Texas but from my perspective DFW seems to be weathering the storm fairly well.

      just curious

      1. aet

        texas = 30 million people, in a polity with just about 200 years of recorded history, not counting the time when Tjas was a Province of Mexico

        china = 1200 million people, in a polity with anbout four thousand years of recorded history

        there is NO comparison; and especially a simplt e-minded moral one as sketched out above.

  9. Valissa

    I know that it is emotionally satisfying to have a clear villain to blame for today’s financial woes and more. I saw it earlier today over at Denninger’s site and was both impressed and annoyed. Are the banks guilty of looting and undue influence? Most certainly, but they are not the only ones; not the only villains in the story. The power elite has many factions and most of them are participating in the looting or “extraction” (to use Ratigan’s term) of the USA.

    I read an interesting post over at Global Research today by Paul Craig Roberts. The title suggests it’s about the S&P downgrade, and it is, but whether one agrees with his theory on that or not, the piece has a much more important message. Roberts discusses his view of one of the fundamental political power and money games going on in the US.

    The Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Debt Downgrade: What It Means http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25941

    It is always a challenge to get people’s thinking into a new paradigm. Nevertheless, unless the effort is made, people might never comprehend the behind-the-scenes power struggle. A half century ago President Eisenhower in his farewell address warned the American people of the danger posed to democracy and the people’s control over their government by the military/security complex. Anyone can google his speech and read his stark warning. Unfortunately, caught up in the Cold War with the Soviet Union and reassured by America’s rising economic might, neither public nor politicians paid any attention to our five-star general president’s warning.

    In the succeeding half century the military/security complex became ever more powerful. The main power rival was Wall Street, which controls finance and money and is skilled at advancing its interests through economic policy arguments. With the financial deregulation that began during the Clinton presidency, Wall Street became all powerful. Wall Street controls the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, and the levers of money are more powerful than the levers of armaments. Moreover, Wall Street is better at intrigue than the CIA.

    … Their struggle for supremacy could destroy the rest of us.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      It is short on substance, but more the writing on the digital wall. Coming from those that are careful to respect the propriety of the middle class, who live by its reserved, delayed gratification ethos, the sumptuous orgy of the Billion Dollar a year hedge fund salary is shock and awe.

      Here is some more substance on just what has transpired as capital which was under the control of the government, serving the public interest of full employment and stable prices, from FDR until Eurodollar crisis and the fall of Bretton Woods, has been completely transferred to the unregulated corporate community. Capital is now, in almost its entirety, placed in the service of private endless profit making and accumulation.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wLBtT7is-I&feature=related

      The Commanding Heights: The Battle for The World Economy.

  10. Josh

    Yves, you have got to be kidding me. That was a complete waste of time. You were kidding me, right? Just because he speaks slowly and with gravitas does not exempt him from providing evidence to back his claims. Is the spinning coin supposed to hypnotize us, while the angry rhetoric whips us up into a killing frenzy?

    How did that POS make it through the filter?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is a zeitgeist watch item. And it’s better done than most anti-banker rants and was picked up by Denniger, who can be a bit screechy but has been very on target in his critiques of industry practice.

        1. Wyndtunnel

          I have to admit that watching it made me uncomfortable. It’s basically hate speech against bankers…though it’s hard not to agree with the sentiment. I take it as a sign of what’s out there which means the battle lines are being drawn. People who think something as horrible as WW2 is behind us are in for a nasty, nasty surprise.

          1. Valissa

            Yes, it is a form of hate speech and scapegoating. Definitely a powerful propaganda piece, and beautifully done! Reminder, just because something is propaganda doesn’t mean it’s all wrong or all a lie (suggest reviewing the Wikipedia definition), it’s really about influencing people’s minds and supplying believeable narratives. Much propaganda is based on truth, and most often it’s a highly skewed truth. There’s a reason the term “banksters” developed, and it represents the reality that the bankers have become big time looters. But to blame everything on them misses much of what has been going on. History is complex.

      1. Blue Swan

        Agreed re “zeitgeist watch.” There will only be some semblance of balance in our political debate when the insane hatred of government so common on the right is balanced by a commensurate level of vitriol against big business on the left. (And there needs to be a leader who eventually unites the country by seeing these villains as two sides of the same coin.)

        For this reason, any conference that has a libertarian speaker should balance the libertarian out with a communist.

        1. F. Fondrement

          Yes, and the two positions are easy enough to reconcile: the banks own the government. Corporate kleptocrats and government make up a predator state. This is institutionalized abuse of function and trading in influence, a familiar pattern in neocolonial third world settings. The state has escaped democratic control. Nothing can happen until the civilized world intervenes with capacity building or sanctions to restore the state’s integrity.

        2. Justicia

          How about balancing the bogus stuff with good sense, clear thinking and a command of the facts.

          The video was all about emotion. For an equally passionate denunciation of the banksters with a constructive plan for a “declaration of independence from Wall Street,” I recommend this talk that David Korten gave two years ago. (And the last two years have made his remarks even more trenchant.)

          Agenda for a New Economy

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdsZ_lLz07Q

    2. Malagodi

      POS is right.

      So this gets through the filter because of the production values?

      Since audio production used to be my business, I can tell you that the voice over was done in front of at least $10k worth of audio gear. Definitely Neumann mics and Manley or better compressors.

      And it’s still a POS.

      1. ambrit

        Sir;
        You ever have to sit in front of a bank(st)er and humiliate yourself to try to get a loan for a medical necessity? I hope to God you never have to. That is the definition of POS I use.

          1. ambrit

            Dear aet;
            Hoo boy! And I thought I was a bit crazy! Thanks for that “Your Real Place In The Scheme Of Things” wake up call!

  11. globalnomad

    Additional and worthwhile reading to this video is what Roubini has just posted in Slate:
    “Is Capitalism Doomed? Karl Marx was right that globalization, financial intermediation, and income redistribution could lead capitalism to self-destruct.”
    http://www.slate.com/id/2301691/

    1. Foppe

      Analytically, it’s a fairly weak piece though.. Little more than a jumble of stuff going on, and then a shout out to Marx.

      1. Nathanael

        Roubini’s using shorthand. Probably unwise but he’s used to talking to other economists.

        Marx described a particular way in which capitalism would destroy itself, and Roubini, after listing a laundry list of evidence, says “Marx was right, this is what’s happening”. The analysis in this case is all in Marx.

  12. steelhead23

    Anyone else notice the Guy Fawlkes from V voice? I strongly recommend that each and every banking CEO and CEO wannabe read up on the Reign of Terror. Bankers did not fare very well. Many were not buried intact. Keep those sneakers laced up boyz, they’re coming.

  13. craazyman

    Well, I would’ve at least thrown in a pan of a Heironymous Bosch painting or one of Goya’s Disasters of War. Holy Cow. Bore me to death with spinning penny, Batman.

    And No copyright fee. The montage possibilities are endless.

    I bet this was a joke created by a few banksters.

    Still, it roughly captures the way I feel about youze guys. Seriously, who among us would willingly work for a bankster firm? I don’t think I would — even in a non-bankster niche like asset management. I have a job in the investment business and I’d like to make more money, but I wouldn’t want to make it supporting the rape and looting that they engage in day in-day out.

    If Goldman Sachs were to offer me a job for, say, $500,000
    per year (I know that’s pennies to all you Naked Capitalist rich dudes, but I’m a normal person) I wouldn’t take it. How much does water cost when you’re burning in hell for eternity? More than you can ever afford, bankster. And you, female bankster, you think your yoga classes and bottled water are going to save your butt? Did they teach you that in MBA school or did you learn it on the street? Well, I’d think carefully about how much water it takes to extinguish the flames of hell. Some things are priceless. hahahaha hahahahagagag –Revernd John E. Cash, GED, NFL

    1. ambrit

      Dear spark;
      Excellent catch! The NASDAP was indeed bankrolled in the early days by Wall Street bankers. Plus, the ‘Final Solution’ was made possible by IBM through its European subsidaries, who provided the computing capacity to organize and carry out the concentration and killing. (The head office in New York even knew operational details of the ‘Final Solution’ and looked only at the corporate bottom line.) See, “IBM and the Holocaust” by Edwin Black.

      1. aet

        No, the style is the same, as is the substance – this type of discourse is fascist propaganda.
        This is fascism: divide and conquer.
        Your “best buddy”: until they stick in the knife.

        FDR was the leader of America in the victory over fascism: mark well those who disparage his memory.

        1. Externality

          As opposed to Lenin and Stalin’s practice of blaming the Soviet elite’s failings on an ever growing list of groups. A partial list targeted groups includes:

          Constitutional Democratic Party [members]. . . Tsar Nicholas II and the Imperial family, aristocrats, the bourgeoisie, clerics, business entrepreneurs, anarchists, kulaks, monarchists, Mensheviks, Esers, Bundists, Trotskyists, Bukharinists, the “old Bolsheviks”, the army and police, emigrants, saboteurs, wreckers (вредители, “vrediteli”), “social parasites” (тунеядцы, “tuneyadtsy”), Kavezhedists (people who administered and serviced the KVZhD (China Far East Railway), particularly the Russian population of Harbin, China), those considered bourgeois nationalists (notably Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Armenian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian nationalists…).

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enemy_of_the_people#Soviet_Union

          Being related to, a friend of, having worked for, or having studied to be, a member of any of these groups also put one in still more categories. For example, a person who had worked for a kulak (peasant with a small farm) was classified as a Podkulachnik (Подкулачник) and either murdered or sent to the gulag.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podkulachnik

          The Soviet elite could never admit their mistakes, so they relied on the likes of Felix Dzerzhinsky, Genrikh Yagoda, and Lazar Kaganovich to murder some helpless group of people as scapegoats.

    1. aletheia33

      i havent’ checked this link, but i did dig a bit and it wasn’t hard to get down to the familiar “the rothschilds are behind it all”, “check it out and you’ll see that, really, most of the bankers are jews.” zeitgeist watch indeed. better keep watching.

  14. rps

    I stopped reading Denninger. He’s been ranting and raving at the excelerated frequency rate of fevered shrillness. Angry that the death star hasn’t been launched to wipe out the bankers and nonbelievers. He’s as crazy as the religious right fundies demanding the biblical four horsemen apocalypse scenario right now. Why? Just so he can win the Oscar of Predictions Come True Award engraved with “I told you so.”

    The film is the emotional ravings of a death and doom fanatic screaming The sky’s falling in!, The sky’s falling in!

  15. TC

    Radical. That’s what this is. What about justice? What about innocence until guilt is proven beyond all reasonable doubt? Certainly, a Pecora Commission is in order laying sights squarely on rating agencies, first and foremost, that these canary insiders might sing of the rest of the wild flock to which they belong.

    Yet for circumstance in which many probably rightly lay blame on banks, no small element of guilt likewise is on ourselves for tolerating such knuckleheads as Greenspan, Bernanke, Obama, Bush, Geithner, Paulson, Dodd, Frank, and countless others who wouldn’t know Alexander Hamilton from a Hamilton Beach toaster. Still, though, without enemies how would we be reminded who our true friends really are? Maybe these foolish folks have done posterity a huge favor. The part all have played in imposing an imperialist regime on that unique freedom to develop mankind to the fullest of its capabilities making the United States the greatest nation on earth now is plainly established. Yet late is the hour for insisting on Glass-Steagall’s immediate reimplementation (HR 1489), that soon might be mitigated a great burden threatening even the survival of the nation.

    1. ambrit

      So, smear him by asserting a false correspondence, eh? Ever talk to anyone around banking in the fifties and sixties? They’ll tell you some interesting stories about anti-semitism within the banking community, much less the government, and social register.
      It’s a rant, pure and simple. Take it on that level, or leave it. Your choice. That’s the beauty of free speech.

      1. Mondo

        Please take a look at the link highlighted by BusinessTime at 7:28 pm above. The content is apparently by the person who produced the video. bkm187 has a point, we need to be very careful here whom to associate with.

        1. different clue

          I think bkm 187 is suggesting that the video itself is softening up its audience for future-forthcoming videos designed to get the audience to read Jews for “Bankers”. I don’t think bkm 187 is trying to get the audience to read Jews for “Bankers” himself. So bkm 187 is warning us about letting zeitgeist manipulators target our zeitgeist for us.
          Of course, I could be wrong.

      2. bkm187

        Sorry Yves, it seemed to be code. I am from Texas, I have sensitive radar on these issues because Texans employ these tactics.

    2. BetaSheep

      Straw man much? I loathe Bank of American and the House of Morgan Stanley, just as much as I abhor Citi and Goldman Sachs.

    3. F. Beard

      How predictable! The bankers are now hiding behind the skirts of the Jews?!

      Is there anything bankers won’t stoop to?

      I suppose the command against usury between fellow countrymen in Deuteronomy 23:19-20 is antisemitic? As well as the command for periodic debt-forgiveness in Deuteronomy 15?

  16. Dr. Brian Oblivion

    Comment threads are always full of hyperbole, I wouldn’t be running out to Wal*Mart to stock up on pitchforks and torches just yet.

    I just hope that people keep in mind that in times of stress they are more susceptible to charismatic “leaders,” easy answers, simplistic thought and a desire to find scapegoats.

    America was sold Obama on hope and change and won a marketing award for 2008. So keep that in mind before being tempted by the next charlatan. You don’t have to go back too far to find a Lenin, a Hitler, etc. Take a look through the 20th century. Revolutionary leaders all too often have a tendency to scorch the earth and return to year zero.

    Given a decent Internet connection and plenty of time before things go from bad to worse this might be a good time to brush up on history, read up on how we got here, and most importantly where we don’t want to go.

    Adam Curtis’ documentary The Trap might be one place to start.

    http://thetrapdoc.blogspot.com/

    Some perspective on the 20th century and the propaganda model might be worthwhile.

    http://www.chomsky.info/

    Read a little Edward Bernays. Etc. And stay away from the conspiracy stuff.

    Oh one more thing, it would be nice if people would refrain from dehumanizing the targets of their anger. I’ve seen the word “vermin” a bit too much today. And although fun and possibly accurate, resist overusing “psychopath.” Try a little more empathy.

    Things are bleak from here, but I have hope that cooler heads will prevail.

    Carry on lads and ladies.

    1. Francois T

      “I have hope that cooler heads will prevail.”

      Cooler and honest heads would never have pushed, nor accepted a “Look Forward, Not Back” doctrine as a means to promote blatant injustice while screwing average Americans in paying for the egregious fraud of the banksters.

      The time for cool and Spock-like analytic has passed; it is time for cold fury as a driver toward real justice.

    2. colinc

      Good points and links. Noam is almost always spot-on and The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom? is “enlightening.” However, I highly suggest the following “alternative.” First, watch Curtis’ The Century of the Self then take a very long, very introspective look in the nearest mirror. That means everyone! In other words, if you have a credit-card or mortgage or employment from (or any form of “investment” in) Chase, CITI, BoA, GM, GE, P&G, PP&G, Ford, etc., you are part of the problem. Unless and until each and every one of us understands that we’ve been programmed, pigeon-holed and played since the day we were born, and rebels against that, there is no “future” for any of us. Unless, of course, you consider being an expendable puppet for someone else a “future” worth living. Red pill or blue, the choice is yours and “truth” is almost never “pleasant.”

        1. colinc

          Happy to help. Alas, I see I was remiss in one small(?) detail. I hope it was understood that I was using the term “you” in the figurative sense. Your reference to Bernays had me suspecting that you (literal) had seen “…Self.” Personally, I am eternally chagrined that it took me nearly 50 years before I understood the fictitious “life” to which we’ve all been subjected. Hell, I was nearly 40 before I even suspected. More fool me, but fool no more. BTW, is your moniker a nod to the late, great Mr. Zappa? If so, more kudos to you, sir.

      1. aletheia33

        have you done what you suggest? would like to hear how it’s gone/going for you.
        this is not meant as a criticism–your points are well taken. but curious to know how you have fared to this point with it.
        in my experience, what you recommend is a very, very hard road to walk through a lifetime in america. yes, it can be done. many, in fact, have done and are doing it. it’s not a choice to be made lightly. one’s children pay a price. and without the critical thinking skills and the preparation of a middle class education, one is a vulnerable as others lacking those things to being victimized in multiple ways.

        your point is not so much about survival as choosing an ethically, civically responsible path, so what follows here is tangential to your comment in a sense. at any rate, in addition, regarding survival in the current regime without participating in the madness/exploitation, it’s my sense that we have reached a point in history where even americans, the most affluent people the planet has ever seen, of all classes, will soon be finding ourselves en masse at the mercy of forces that have evolved to the point of being completely beyond our control–the collapse of the financial system, the collapse of the infrastructure, the failure of food and water supplies, irreversible toxicity in the environment. one can hunker down, leave the grid, live outside the system, and maybe be better prepared to a certain extent, but at some point one has to acknowledge that even that level of independence does not allow one to avoid the emergency.

        on the practical level, i recommend living in vermont, or some other pocket of relative sanity where one can find likeminded neighbors to share these choices with. going it alone without any likeminded community is the hardest of all.

        the biggest wild card i see is how resilient the collective will turn out to be–especially the younger generations. under pressure, do ethics and civic mindedness actually persist in our culture to any effective extent? we are going to find out.

    3. Paul Tioxon

      I hope my dream catcher will lead me to the valley of unicorn tears and fluffy bubble baths, in a cool, level headed sort of way.

  17. Dr. Brian Oblivion

    Dramatic video and soundtrack but doesn’t hold a candle to Skinny Puppy or some good old 1980s industrial.

    B+

  18. Alex

    Jeez, Yves. Seriously? This is a load of near-schizophrenic crap. Did you even listen to it? E.g.

    Do I have any idea what I’m talking about? It is possible I do not. There’s an area where allegorical poetry gains an influx of metaphysical certainty that is no different from the theoretical physics, where theory is just another word for things we don’t want to accept as inevitable. Maybe freedom’s just another word for no one left to screw. It stands to reason that sooner or later the public will have no other option but to declare open season on the bankers. They’ll be hunted down as the be-all and end-all of everything dangerous and wrong. They a plague and a pestilence as bad as any epidemic. They are the whiskey and yellow-fever blankets on the reservations of ordinary life. They are anthrax masquerading as sweet-and-low. They are the long-standing source of the majority of humanty’s problems, and have little competition, except for the ubiquitous presence of ignorance and impossible dreams. Whoever these bankers are, that is who they are.

    No reasoning, no information, just a stream of hate. I felt like I was supposed to be shaking my fist at Emmanuel Goldstein.

    1. Alex

      I’m not the judge or executioner. I’m an observer who’s never had enough money to even think about the banks in the first place.

      Given the preceding seven minutes of invective, I’d say he’s been thinking about the “banksters” pretty damn hard, actually!

  19. solo

    Whoever wrote the script of this video is a crackpot: (1) Put “Jewish” in front of “bankers” in such assertions as, “The bankers are the scum of the earth,” etc., and you could have a re-run of one of the rants served up by Hitler; the call for “frontier justice” (mob violence)is especially distasteful, and lumps this video with the today’s ultra-Rightist (protofascist or outright fascist) reaction, noted by many on this website, to the current economic crisis. (2) The script is economically false in making the banking system the exclusive object of opprobrium. The banking system has indeed grown in influence in the modern era, but it is a subset of the system of corporate capitalism. (That’s where the appellation “finance capital” comes from.) The word “capitalism” (or its cognates) does not appear in this video. (3) The video makes no pretense to respectable argumentation, and consists entirely of baseless assertion. Civic argumentation respects fact, logic, and its interlocutors; it adduces verifiable premises and claims that its conclusion(s) logically follow. (My post is an example of respectable argumentation.) –I am sorry to say that I am disappointed that Yves Smith placed this video on her website, which is usually an oasis of informed and adult discussion in this insane world of self-interested confusion.

    1. ambrit

      My Good Sir;
      That’s the wonder and beauty of free speech. All viewpoints are aired. It’s when various ‘elites’ begin installing ‘filters’ and ‘moderation paradigms’ that we all begin to suffer. Limited choice, after all, is but a metaphor for poverty.

      1. solo

        @mbrit: Your misreading of my post is an act of free speech; knock yourself out. But my free speech reply is to point out the irrelevancy of your post: I criticized the video presentation by laying out premises and reasoning for public examination; which you ignored. I called for no censorship, “filters,” etc., by “elites” or by anybody else. I concluded by expressing my disappointment that Yves published a worthless piece of fascistic diatribe on a website devoted to informed, adult discussion of serious issues of civic interest. (If a pornographic video had been posted, I would have argued in a similar vein: This website is not the place for such trash.) The only “poverty” in this exchange is revealed by the little that satisfies your urge to post something, anything, your interlocutor be damned. But, of course, I defend your penurious free speech.

        1. ambrit

          Mr solo, or Mz;
          Ah indeed, “penurious free speech.” Damned by faint praise yet again.
          “The only ‘poverty’ in this exchange is revealed by the little that satisfies your urge to post something, anything, your interlocutor be damned.” Well, well, you don’t think I haven’t wrestled with the ego issues attendant to posting on this blog? As I see it, all posting is an aspect of ones self image. Even if at an electronic remove, posting is a revelation of ones’ self to others. Reflection on such posts, at a later date, to give perspective, can be quite informative. If I’m honest with myself, I’ll use what I learn to develop a better character.
          On to the arguements:
          First: “Put Jewish in front of bankers..” Oh no, not that again. You can put Jewish in front of anything if you want to smear the speaker with charges of anti-Semitism. ‘The Jewish Mullahs called for a fatwa against usury.’ I haven’t looked into other claims that the producers of the video have a track record of anti-Semitism, but, if true, give the readers here some credit for the ability to spot the difference.
          Second: The call for ‘frontier justice’ is hateful. Indeed it is, that’s its’ strength. This links up with your observation that the video has “no pretense to respectable arguementation.” The point some, like myself, would make is that “respectable arguementation” has been neutered by relentless reactionary ranting in the ‘media,’ since at least the ’80′s. This is an example of the “Progressive” movement appropriating one of the most useful tactics of the “Right.” Like it or hate it, these tactics work. As such, its inclusion here, and you’ll have to admit it is a ‘one off’ for this site, is an object lesson to us here as to the strength and virulence of the emotion building out “on the Street.” It is exactly a Zeitgeist indicator. We ignore it at our peril, lest we all get swept up in the tumult that it indicates is aproaching.
          Third: That it’s a false assertion that banking alone is to blame. Being that modern banking is the primary tool of “unfettered Capitalism,” money now even buys the government. The focus on the “Banker” as villain is a convenient rhetorical device. The producers of the video avoid multiple traps this way. They simplify the message so as to gain traction with the public. (This video was not, after all, produced solely for the NC crowd.) They avoid the American bugaboo of “Commie Pinko” labeling by avoiding any mention of ‘hot button’ words like Marxism, Socialism, Communitarianism, etc.. They focus the viewers attention on a single ‘villain,’ the Banker, to avoid diffusion of the message. As an example, the narrators voice reminded me strongly of the voice used by a famous series of Radio Ads for a brand of Beer. To this extent, the message is ‘gotten across.’ Whether you agree with the ‘message’ or not is irrelevant at this level. You heard it, and have responded. It is now in your consciousness. Job well done for the video. As the primary face of Capitalism in the modern world, Bankers should not be at all surprised to feel the wrath of the public when Capitalism abuses that public. As the abuse becomes stronger and more painful, the public becomes more frustrated and angry. The Bankers then assume their secondary role in the Capitalist scheme of things: Whipping Boy. To the extent that it is coherent, the video is consistent in its’ arguement. “Something is wrong. The banks are demonstrably the effectuators of this wrong. The Bankers run the banks. (Arguably, who runs the Bankers?) Make the pain stop Mr Banker, or suffer like the rest of us.
          Fourth: “I called for no censorship..” Sorry, but this is incorrect. Your criticism of Mz Smith for carrying this video in the first place is a hidden demand for her to censor herself, and thus her blog. At root, any criticism, of any kind, is a ‘request’ for change in the correspondant. When done between people of good will, such a ‘request’ is evaluated and responded to. Argueing back and forth, a new balance is sought for, and if successful, found.
          On a broader front, this video is an example of how this fight, and it is a fight, is proceeding to a new level. The reactionaries have demonstrated a complete lack of respect for just the values most of us here value: Respect for your opponent, moderation, reason, even logic. Now we “Progressives” are forced to rethink our tactics and adapt, if we are not to be not merely marginalized, but destroyed. Since the ‘ancien regieme’ is run on money, and, as Willie Sutton so famously remarked, Banks are “where the money is,” the Bankers, as the directors of money, are the logical target for effecting real change.
          “Welcome to the land of the Damned, Interlocutor. We’re all in this together after all.

  20. Frankzappasguitar

    So Mr. Man in the video got carried away at parts with the ‘matrix blue pill’ schtick, still his points are valid– bankers own the global political system and score big from mass death caused by war, poverty, and famine. Are readers of NC really surprised by this?

    1. JTFaraday

      Well, I guess the mini-protest on this site just means the case for the deeply damaging effects of the current bank culture hasn’t been made strongly enough yet.

      They’re just ol’ boyz workin’ hard and makin’ an honest buck.

      What’s wrong with that?

  21. scraping_by

    The Gnomes of Zurich, when British PM Harold Wilson called them out in the 1960′s, were a myth and a joke among the mainstream chattering classes. David Barrett in A Brief History of Secret Societies, pointed out that many identified the Gnomes with the Illuminati. Once that conspiracy tag was thrown it was infra dig to blame the secret masters.

    Conspiracy can be seen in, say, three levels. The outer level is the stuff physically impossible and otherwise beyond it all, like UFOs as Pentagon science project and replacing the heads of government with genetic robots. Both of which I’ve heard and read.

    Then there’s the middle, plausible level of conspiracy, like insider trading and bribed politicians. Stuff with no proof in the public sphere, and kept on plausible denial on that basis alone. Conspiracy’s just the simplest theory that covers the known facts.

    At the lowest level, there’s the stuff that’s proven but not acknowledged, like the campaign of lies that led us into the Iraq war or the routine forgery that was the backbone of the mortgage servicing industry. Deny, deny, deny.

    Banksters using their position to commit horrific and anti-human acts of social engineering is there in the middle levels of conspiracy. Enriching themselves through control fraud in down on level I, obvious but may not have the proof for a court of law in the MSM.

    Finance might indeed be the Fifth Horsemen of the Apocolypse. But any argument that turns capital into a utility is good enough for me and mine.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I clearly said I wasn’t endorsing this blanket condemnation. That is your projection. Zeitgeist watch items are germane. You ignore cultural changes in mood at your peril.

      I had someone in another thread get very upset because this reminded him of Nazi propaganda. This was the response from someone else on the same thread:

      I don’t agree with your propaganda analogy. I’m Jewish, and a German Jew by heritage. I am sure I have a few scarred, broken branches on my family tree from lives cut short gratis gas chambers disguised as “work camps”. The spinning coin and the light globe in that video are captivating and irresistible but ONLY to those who are already filled with deep alarm, anger, and concern….

      rant

      If comparisons are to be made to the Nazi Germany times, here you go; there are millions of suffering, trapped, frightened, desperate, dispossessed, homeless families who are marginalized, stigmatized, and blamed for the downfall of one’s community, neighborhood, & country. They have had seen their businesses crushed, their access to credit evaporated, their ability to function economically damaged by a label (credit score vs gold star sleeve patch). They believe that sanity and reason surely will descend soon, once those with the power and position to intervene understand the dire circumstances. Most believe their own family, if they can simply hang on & do the right thing/stay quiet/empty 401k & savings/fill out the same loss mitigation documents hundreds of times, then they will be saved from the unspeakable fate that has befallen their friends, neighbors, & colleagues. They live in fear of “property preservation teams” taking photos of their homes and even changing the locks and tossing their possessions out onto the street. They know there is only danger when one reports these incidents to those tasked with protecting the citizens of the state. They know law enforcement and the judiciary is fully biased against them. They know documents will be forged to “prove” they are liars and worse evil debtors who believed the stated & implicit guarantees of a workable refi or modification, but are now deemed unfit for the “luxuries” they once enjoyed, being safe, employable, providing for one’s children, and being secure in one’s home.

      /rant

  22. Tom Stone

    Yves, drop me a line if you would. I’d like to put you in touch with someone with a good story.

  23. ming

    Actually, the bankers are an incarnation of the 3rd horseman…(from wikipedia below)
    “When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
    — Revelation 6:5-6˄ NIV

    The third horseman rides a black horse and is generally understood as Famine.[3] The horseman carries a pair of balances or weighing scales, indicating the way that bread would have been weighed during a famine.[12] The indicated price of grain is about ten times normal, with an entire day’s wages (a denarius) buying enough wheat for only one person, or enough of the less nutritious barley for three, so that workers would struggle to feed their families.[3]

    Of the four horsemen, the black horse and its rider are the only ones whose appearance is accompanied by a vocal pronunciation. John hears a voice, unidentified but coming from among the four living creatures, that speaks of the prices of wheat and barley, also saying “and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” This suggests that the black horse’s famine is to drive up the price of grain but leave oil and wine supplies unaffected (though out of reach of the ordinary worker). One explanation for this is that grain crops would have been more naturally susceptible to famine years or locust plagues than olive trees and grapevines, which root more deeply;[3][12] the statement might also suggest a continuing abundance of luxuries for the wealthy while staples such as bread are scarce, though not totally depleted.[12] Such selective scarcity may result from injustice”

    Hmmm…bankers also facilitate commodity speculation which drives up the price of food…hmmm

  24. Anonymous Comment

    Hmmm…

    This video starts pretty good. But it ends up a bit on the subtly evil/vindictive/suggestively violent side. Videos that incite “open season” should not be taken viral. IMO. No offense. Didn’t we already learn that the hard way with the congresscritter that got caught in the ‘crosshairs’?

    I’m glad to see it, myself. But if I’m afraid to share it with anyone because of the potential to fertilize the insanity factor. If you know what I mean.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I did think about that, but the “in the crosshairs” stuff targeted specific people, talked about hit lists, even had maps showing locations with crosshairs for particular targets. Even though the tone of this was menacing, it did not suggest that any specific action be taken.

  25. Charles Lemos

    Geez Yves, you have to got to be kidding me. Did you even watch this before posting it? If you did, it demonstrates exceedingly poor judgment to push some fact-averse conspiracy theory rant by some ignorant fool on your readership.

    There are no doubt unscrupulous bankers but to label an entire class of people as evil is beyond the pale.

    I am an ex-banker, a former Goldman employee, and while there is much wrong with Wall Street and the capital class, to so narrowly place all the evils of mankind on so few shoulders is frankly reprehensible. I expect better from Yves because this site has been in the forefront of exposing what is wrong with American casino capitalism.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Charles,

      I’ve written about the preening narcissism of the industry (the dealer bank end, “banking” covers an awfully wide terrain, as I indicated in the post). I’m not surprised that it has elicited this sort of response. You may not like how it looks, but this sort of anger is growing. Some forms may be more articulate and coherent and well aimed than others, but you are shooting the messenger. This sort of thing is a reflection of how the tectonic plates are moving.

        1. Alex

          Oops, “strange thing to post” should link here. (And I posted this comment in reply to that comment, too. Double oops.)

      1. Charles Lemos

        Yves,

        We’re definitely in a bind. I wish there were more anger but it is hard to advocate for riots on the street. Who wants that? Certainly not I.

        If we do not self-correct, then I am afraid that we are nearing a tipping point for both capitalism and liberal democracy.

        I am also the first the admit that as a member of an educated elite, I am a failure. I’ve failed to make the winning arguments for reforming our house of cards. Collapse at this point is probably inevitable. But there is no guarantee that out of collapse will emerge a better more equitable system. In thinking about this video, I feel it is incumbent on people like you, me and in truth the whole of the readership of this great blog to educate people on why the inequities of our present economic system pose such a danger. It leads to videos like the above that are in effect calling for blood.

        One of the defining moments of my life was being in Buenos Aires back in December 2001. That was when I realized that the neo-liberal economics training that I had received at university and in business school was bunk. But let’s be frank, what happened in Buenos Aires that December was painful. Beyond the violence of the riots, life for Argentines overnight became much harsher with most Argentines losing two-thirds of their net worth.

        Charles Lemos
        San Francisco, CA

  26. Tom Parsons

    That video was fun to watch in its way, and certainly worth the time, but disturbing on a deeper level than comments so far have addressed.

    I’ve exposed myself to a great deal of the nonsense and hate speech on all sides of many issues, as well as the reasoned arguments, and the tone of this was off. It didn’t comfortably fit any pattern, and reeked with contradictory aromas.

    So my thoughts turn to the men in black balaclavas who so conveniently turn up at peaceful protests to break windows and throw things at police.

    Agent provocateur.

    Well funded, professionally done, but a lame script in parts, written and approved by people who don’t really get it.

    It reminded me of an old “educational” film from the chemical industry in which Patric Stewart (before Star Trek) sat at a desk with a vintage globe and some books, looking erudite and using the cultured intelligence of his delivery to ridicule environmentalists – “Parts per million? Do you know how tiny a part per million *is*?”

    Well, yes, teaching chemistry involves quantitative thinking, thanks.

    And I have learned to consider not just the argument and the source, but also the tone and the larger picture.

  27. Psychoanalystus

    Not just banksters, but capitalism in general has become a miserable failure, a hindrance to human progress and development, and a cancer that needs to be vanquished. And yes, we need to round up banksters like the subhuman vermin that they are and send them to Guantanamo Bay for a little “enhanced interrogation”.

    Here’s a new article by Nouriel Roubini about this topic:

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/roubini41/English

  28. RichardB

    Yves,

    We love you, but this one is too much. Wait until you have something important to say. We’ll wait.

  29. BetaSheep

    This video purposely got it wrong. Bankers are simply the servants of a very privileged set of families, like the Mars and Mellons, to name a couple.

    The sad thing is that none of us could identify any of these family members out of a police line up. And that’s they way they want it.

    These sorts of families have weathered the Crash of ’29 more or less intact and learned it was not a good survival strategy to be in the public eye.

    These are the sorts of people that need to be escorted to the National Razor, if I can be so incendiary. However, we simply don’t know exactly who they are. They’ve learned to blend in.

    No, I would say this video was put together by the Pew Charitable Trusts. After all, the Pews were awfully good friends of the Mellons.

  30. different clue

    The video captures a sense of rising upsetness. But I wonder if the video is also designed to mislead and divert that upsetness away from equally culpable black-hat players.
    For example, Monsanto is not a bank and its employees are not bankers. But Monsanto is polluting and deranging the genetic code of many significant crop plant species all over the earth with its deliberately uncontainable artificial gene-sequence payloads inserted into natural chromosome delivery vehicles. Ask Percy Schmeiser about that. And this video nowhere mentions Monsanto, or any of the other Monsantiform destroyers of life. That makes me wonder whether this video was crafted as a sly diversion.

    1. attempter

      Yes, if you don’t list each and every malefactor, you’re actually trying to misdirect from the one you didn’t list.

      I agree that Monsanto and similar biotech and Big Ag rackets are the worst enemies, with the banks #2. But it’s not effective politics to confound the two. So I attack Monsanto first in specific food relocalization contexts, but otherwise it’s a no-brainer: Wall Street is the infinite enemy.

      And why are you criticizing an anti-bank expression for not being an anti-Monsanto expression? By your logic, we should suspect you of wanting to misdirect from the banksters. Who knows, you may have just gotten back from a Food Sovereignty thread where you complained, “Why all the emphasis on Monsanto? Wall Street’s worse. You’re misdirecting from them!”

      See what I mean?

      1. different clue

        Attempter,

        Did I hit a nerve? It looks like you are an apologist for stealth-nazi propaganda. Would I be wrong?

        1. different clue

          But yes . . .

          I see what you mean. Do you see what I mean?

          It’s there to be seen, if you see what I mean.

    2. Psychoanalystus

      Indeed, like I wrote above, it’s not just the banksters, but rather capitalism itself that needs to be vanquished. Monsanto, big oil, big coal, the military complex, Koch Industries, the pharmaceuticals, Walmart, Kroger, Starbucks, Apple, Google, AT&T, and the list goes on and on, all are just the beginning of the vampires we need to squash during the great purge we need to undertake if humanity is to have a chance at survival. We need to rid ourselves of these great centers of evil called “corporations”, because it has come to the point of either we do or they will utterly destroy this planet and all life on it.

      The best way to do this is to either boycott them or just beat them within their own rules and have fun while doing it. Say, go to Walmart, buy a new computer, use it, then 29 days later drop it on concrete (by mistake, of course) and then immediately take it back within the return period for a full refund because it’s broken. Or, go to fill up your gas tank at your neighborhood’s evil Exxon station, and conveniently leave your car parked at the pump for one hour while you slowly sip on your coffee inside the shop while carefully browsing the magazine section — the oil company will pay at least $500 in lost revenues for your coffee.

      Be creative. And, by all means, make this a family activity. Get the kids involved too. Take them to Toys’r'US, and explain to them how they can exchange all their toys every 90 days if only they keep the packaging and the receipts. And don’t forget to explain to them that Toys’r'US is an evil company manufacturing toys in abusive factories employing child labor. Don’t forget to tell them that McDonald’s is also an evil company, selling toxic food that hurts their bellies. Start teaching your kids early on. Prepare the next generation of anticorporatists.

      And, don’t forget to have fun while doing this too…

  31. attempter

    Sometimes the trolls around here accuse those who speak their minds on behalf of justice of being just armchair revolutionaries who would cringe and cower at the prospect of a real fight.

    Now this video is a strong expression, and judging from how uncomfortable it seems to have made so many people (and the evident, instinctive resistance to focusing on a core enemy, which is simply Politics 101), I fear those trolls actually have a point.

    1. ambrit

      Dear attempter;
      I strongly suspect that some of these ‘armchair revolutionaries’ are Trolls themselves. Paranoia is after all, a survival mechanism.

      1. aet

        Trying to make someone feel bad with your words?

        Then you too are “trolling”.

        There’s a lot of people who don’t want other people to do well, and indeed will seek to activelt y ruin their happiness.

        (A piece of real and useful advice – never whistle a happy tune, or display any outward signs of happiness, while you’re in prison. I’ll leave it to you “psychologists’ to explain why that is should so! hint: unhappiness is easier to spread than happiness…)

        That’s what you get when health care is no concern of the Government’s – except to violently deny the use of cheap effective pain-killers by law – for they want you to suffer enough to pay the price they or their gangster buddies demand for your relief.

        Children do a better job than ‘journalists” on this issue, at least:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/jul/19/al-jazeera-journalism-education

        I’m sure the vast flows of untaxed cash generated by the sale of unnecessarily prohibited drugs has nothing at all to do with the current economic state people find themselves in. Nothing at all.

  32. Ray Duray

    Speaking of zeitgeist, here’s an image from a Wall St. protest hosted by NACA about 30 months ago which very quickly got picked up and corporatized by Der Spiegel as an ad motif:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mstoll/3989086091/

    My personal favorite among the 100 or so comments above?

    “…it is time for cold fury as a driver toward real justice.”

    Let’s Roll, Tootsie! :)

  33. Milton Pincus

    Straight from Dearborn, Michigan, and points East, the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are back (http://bit.ly/n1hxUx) and this video seems scripted by someone well-versed in the old canard.

  34. Ransome

    There was a lot of drama in the video about the banking system as an opportunity for undertaking. Broker-dealers have a unique worldview that frequently harms those on which they prey. He left out the most obvious and easiest solution (did he offer a solution?), division into State operated non-profit banking, like the Fed. Non-profit banks have no investors or stockholders, they are not money centers, workers are on salary. Banks are utilities, like in China. No pitchforks needed. The broker-dealers should not be corporations, every deal should put the company and their jobs at risk. Every deal should be taxed. Stock trading should become boring again and taxed per order. The giant pools of money that move from asset to asset need to be tamed.

  35. olde reb

    Yves,
    It is interesting to read comments objecting to the video’s analysis of the banking establishment, and even references to Germany’s handling of an ethnic power grab that put jews in control of admission boards for doctors, lawyers, academic professions, government positions and lucrative employment. Bismarck paid the price in return for political support for his socialistic agenda. The German people resented being second rate citizens in their own country and rebelled.

    The same ethnic group has controlled the European banks for hundreds of years. Benjamin Ginsberg documented their involvement and laments their persecution and confiscation of their assets with deportations and physical injury in FATAL EMBRACE, JEWS AND THE STATE. Ben declines to identify the historic banking practices as being identical to the Federal Reserve operation.

    The mathematics of the Federal Reserve scheme has been shown to be a Ponzi scheme that will confiscate the entire wealth of the U.S. society. The termination, as of any Ponzi scheme, is national bankruptcy. Ref. RIP OFF BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE posted at http://www.freepatriot-press.com/2011/06/rip-off-by-federal-reserve.html and
    http://www.usa-the-republic.com/banks/Federal_Reserve_Ripoff.pdf and
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/49040689 among other locations.

    1. aet

      The ethnic Germans had no country before Bismark, as he unified the German Empire for the first time in history…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unification_of_Germany

      ..and the so-called “Jewish problem” was NOT about some kind of unmerited ethnic control of the economy, but about the difficulties of assimilating many thousands of poor Russian Jews who were fleeing the Czar’s progroms and anti-revolutionary crackdowns, and winding up in German cultural areas and cities.

      The German crackdown against the Jews began in the 19th century as a reaction to a sudden and large “Jewish” (that is, of Russians who also happened to be Jewish) immigration from Russia.

      And not as a reaction to any social prominence or pre-eminence of Jews in the business and banking of Germany.

      In its origins, German anti-Semitism looks to me much like any other anti-immigrant political movement, anywhere, anytime. In Germany, it developed into something much worse, of course.

      A warning from history as to all “anti-immigrant”, or ‘anti-other-people” politics, it seems to me.

      Including ‘anti-banker” sentiments.

      It’s what people do, not who or what they are, that counts in any judgment of them. That’s simple justice.

      1. Milton Pincus

        Thanks for clearing up that bit of history. When I see my mother on Saturday and she goes into her weekly description of her liberation from Auschwitz, I’ll try out your explanation.

  36. Sam B B

    The economy was not wrecked by the banks, but by unbalanced trade and a corrupt Congress. Congress deregulated and destroyed the New Deal, Congress refuses to enact balanced trade regulations – see The balanced trade restoration act of 2006 by Dorgan and Feingold.

    Blaming businesses for bad regulation is counterproductive.

    1. Nathanael

      It’s not “businesses” which are the problem. It’s a specific class of criminal businesses which have been buying legislation to allow them to get away with evil activities. The Koch Brothers are a nice, named, documented example, but the big oil companies are another. Big Tobacco used to be, but they lost most of their power a while back.

      At the moment the biggest threat is the criminal megabanks; this appears to encompass most of the multinational banks (I can’t say whether it’s all of them, but certainly Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and most of the others you’ve heard of.) Yves has documented their anti-social, criminal activities; others have documented their schemes to repeal New Deal legislation which kept them in check; and their current status as wards of the government is obvious. The chutzpah of the criminal executives of these criminal operations, who continue to pay themselves large salaries, is enormous.

  37. in the belly

    “Those of you might consider how the abusive policies of the major players are creating anger at everyone in the sector (save obvious small fry like community banks and credit unions).”

    yeah. well, i applied to barnes and noble, wal-mart, the grocery store, target, the hospital, the other hospital, the other other hospital, the library, the other library, the other library, the community college, the university, the for-profit college, the local bookstore, the city, computer stores, retail stores, manufacturing places, the small fry banks, and the credit unions. i applied for jobs in other states too, of course they dont want anyone who isnt already nearby.

    so finally i got a bottom rung job at a bank. i work next to people with bachelors degrees and decades of experience… we do work that doesnt even require a high school education, and only exists because bank managers do not understand how computers work and dont want to spend any money automating things.

    i guess i could be on welfare, or homeless, would that make you happy?

    “he might be pissing into my bushes, but at least he doesnt work for bank of america”

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