07 November 2013

In Defence of Bankers

In response to the ugly anti-Bankerism that infects our society, I insist on having a word.

I recently crunched the numbers, ran the algorithms, consulted the spreadsheets, and the results are in.

For every one dishonest banker there are at least 1,000,000 foolish American consumers who are ignorant about money, who refuse to save, who do not invest, and who absolutely must spend their cash on every consumer gadget, frivolous toy, and 2,000-square foot home they can't afford.

Of course I'm not absolving banks of any responsibility. They made mistakes and took foolish risks in a market that is largely rigged. Even more blame should fall on Government, however, which, desperately hungry for votes both native and imported, pushed the banks to lend at increasingly reckless rates.

Greed, of course, is not confined only to bankers and government bureaucrats. It never was.

I know of one 20-year girl in Newport Beach who inherited several million dollars after both parents passed away. Within 3 years the little bitch was broke, having spent the dosh on trips to Hawaii and Europe, clothes, sports cars, drugs, monthly raves in Palm Springs, and who knows what else.

I personally know of ageing, unemployed hippies living in million-dollar homes in Laguna Beach, having inherited them decades ago, and who can barely scrape together enough money to pay property taxes because they're too busy doing drugs and not looking for a job.

Speaking of which, I've met numerous 50-70-year olds who have frittered away their lives waiting for their rich parents to die.

And don't get me started on the throngs of addicts and "disabled" out there, people who have simply dropped out and expect someone else to care for them.

I find this fucking pathetic.

Having lived in and out of this country, and having travelled extensively abroad, I've come to certain conclusions. You know what defines Americans? A pervasive, deep-rooted childishness and immaturity, from which comes the sense of entitlement and greed that got them where they are today.

When I hear American consumers express their hatred for the banks, I immediately think of the young women who make false accusations of rape against a man after a drunken night of seduction and sex.

Embarrassed, and feeling buyer's remorse, they have no other response.


Anonymous said...

Great entry LBF.

But Twitter IPO! Morons.

They complain about banks but fail to realize they have every choice in the world in banking, much less the ability to use foreign banks.

Anonymous said...

Good Call. Maureen

w. adam mandelbaum esq. said...

LBF, you couldn't have diagnosed the problem better. I remember years ago, doing real estate deals when my clients were actually getting money back at closing--the ones that were buying! No doc loans, no income verification, and adjustable rates, negative amortization, etc. What the fuck did they expect to happen? They ignored my advice, and now they are in foreclosure. Idiots who invest in the stock market without setting stop loss limits on what they buy, without setting parameters on when to sell--what do they expect? They get what they deserve. Jerkoffs who let some broker invest their money into make believe garbage mortgage backed bullshit, instead of buying dividend aristocrat stocks? What did they expect? Fuck 'em. Stupidity is not a defense, it is a disease--often a fatal one. Bravo to you for calling it like it is. American sense of entitlement? Watch any reality show and there you have it. Pan et circenses.

Blanc said...

Deep-rooted childishness and immaturity are certainly the defining characteristics of most Americans. Naive optimism is part of that.

Anonymous said...

I always have the same image when some news-hole uses the term "predatory banking". Did some banker jump from a dark alley and force a pile of cash on someone to buy something that they shouldn't have? Poor darlings. Here let mommy wipe your ass.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't bankers, it's rootless cosmopolitans who also happen to be bankers (and, as the case is, bolsheviks, professors, world menders, etc.).

GSL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryu said...

Greed and entitlement can be fantastic things to have, if one knows how to use them.

I don't think Americans are greedy enough.

Anonymous said...

Suppose I work, save, and build a vault with my savings.

A customer approaches my establishment and says, "that vault looks incredibly safe. I don't want to carry all of my money with me all of the time, could I store my money at your establishment?"

"Sure!" I respond. "But you have to pay me to store your money for you."

What can I do with my customer's money? Store it. That's it. Only he has claim to his money, no one else. That is a demand deposit.

My customer returns and I tell him, "I've noticed that you've left your money here without use for a great period of time. Could I lend out your money?

He responds, "Sure! But you have to pay me if you'd like to lend out my money." I then lend out that money for a larger fee than what I paid to my customer. That is a time deposit. My customer no longer has claim to that amount of money during the period which it is lent out.

I can only lend money that has been lent to me. Two people cannot have the same claim to the same money in storage. Bank runs wouldn't happen if banks respected this principle.

What if everyone takes out their money from my establishment at the same time? Well, I still have my incredibly safe vault, and other customers will surely want to store their money with me due to the reputation that I have established in my local community. I have respected the claims of my customers to their money.

Just ask yourself, "Who has claim to the money I deposit in a bank?" If your answer is different than what a modern banker tells you, then you will understand why there is such low esteem for modern banks and modern bankers.


Volksgeist said...

As Joseph de Maistre wrote, "Every nation gets the government it deserves." Over half of all the children in 2013 were born to single mothers. Hell, even our president Obongo is the product of a single mother household. I don't expect this number to go down any time soon.

By 2050 Hispanics are projected to make up almost 1/3rd of the US population. Assuming that the fate of a country is mostly determined by the quality and character of its inhabitants rather than other exogenous factors, what effect will this have on America's culture? On its gdp growth rates? On its gini coefficient? On its degree of political polarization? On the types of its elected officials? On county, state, and federal level corruption rates? On the general feeling of unification and nationhood among its citizens?

We'll never become South Africa. But we'll get a lot closer to it. I don't blame the bankers, personally. Institutionally speaking, there is a slow motion riot happening, and I'd rather be the one plundering the shops than the one being plundered.

NEETHipster said...


"In other news, a grumpy aging banker whines about trustafarians not seizing opportunities handed to them on silver platters"

Get taxed banker dufus.

Michael said...

eijurydFellow banker here. Know many from prep school still waiting for the old man to kick off. Guys now in their sixties watching their 80 year old fathers swim laps or run marathons. Deadbeats. Hilarious

jubal early said...

It is sickening how materialistic most Americans are. Not sure if this is unique to Americans, but the characteristic is definitely palpable. I have mastered the art of appearing affluent, through a combination of my dress, polished look, speech and manners, and so I have bedded lots and lots of women, and I can tell you that invariably they are all attracted to material things. I cant remember the last time I have truly connected with a girl. And then the guys are the same. They complain about how materialistic girls are. I tell them that, yes, that is true, but you have to learn to use it to your advantage. You have to learn to play the game. You must master the art of appearing wealthy so that you will have success with women. My good friend often complains that he will never get women because he has a nasty recent divorce, child support, a mortgage, and lots of debt. I tell him that you would be a fool to tell a girl all of these things. Just keep all of that stuff secret. Tell her that you are a wealthy attorney with a nice house. That is all.

? said...

I am a "shadow banker" and investor with substantial coinvest in my firm's funds. If you (not LBF, but the general public) don't want greedy "bankers", then you are a loser content with little return on your invested assets, although you probably don't have any invested assets.

Anonymous said...

It is true that Americans are too materialistic and they want instant gratification---got to have it now. Sometimes I find myself in older subdivisions from the 70s and before. These homes typically have only a one car garage (not intended for a supersized SUV). They also usually have a bath and a half. The half is in the small master bedroom and it consists of a small sink and a commode. Most of the homes from this era are 1500 ft. and less with 1500 ft. being considered a large home. People raised families in these homes---kids shared rooms---the parents shared one vehicle. They pinched every penny. Then came the yuppies of the 80s who bought homes larger than those of their parents and they bought them much sooner---all on credit---very little money down---no savings. They bought everything on credit---nicer cars than they could afford, expensive furniture. They took nice vacations. This trend has continued even though the stock market wealth of the eighties is long gone.
Bankruptcy has become a catch-all. Charge everything possible and then file for bankrupcty. I have a single friend who found herself without a job for a few months. She did eventually get another job but during the time inbetween she continued to shop, eat out, and take mini vacations. Needless to say, she ran up her credit card bills which by the way were already high from her excessive lifestyle. Her solution? She filed for bankruptcy and had $40,000 in credit card debt forgiven. Is her credit hurt? yes Can she still get a credit card? yes---$40,000 forgiven---it was like she had been rewarded for being such an excessive spender!! For those such as myself, it doesn't seem fair. I have 15 pairs of shoes and she has more than 250 pairs of shoes. BTW, after bankruptcy, her lifestyle really hasn't changed that much. She tells me she's being more careful as she shows me her most recent purchases and as she talks about her mini vacations.