The “War” on Banks

January 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

So, according to the media, President Obama has declared war on the banks. I suppose, using this war analogy, I could say the banks have been waging a successful guerrilla war against general society for a long time. They, particularly US and European banks, have successfully reaped all the profits of their dealings while also, very successfully I might add, shifting all of their loses onto the taxpayers. It has definitely been a one sided battle until now with the banks always holding the upper hand. I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who said that too much wealth concentrated in the hands of too few people will create an unbalanced political environment in which the wealthy will hold much of the political power. It sounds like he was describing our present situation! Through the use of well paid lobbyists pushing bank influenced agendas to government officials and the many individuals in the banking industry who seem to flow seamlessly back and forth between government jobs that set banking policies that are highly favourable to the banks and well placed jobs in the banking industry that benefit from those same policies, regulations governing banks have been lax to say the least. Talk about a cozy conflict of interest situation. The banking mentality, not so much in my experience of the front line people who daily deal face-to-face with the general public and understand the need to cultivate trustĀ  but particularly of middle to senior management where contact with the general public is minimal, is one of entitlement and short sightedness. It is a me-first attitude that wants all the bells and whistles that go with the job but little or no responsibility or accountability for the negative consequences when chasing those bells and whistles causes economic disaster for the general public. That the banks refuse to take responsibility and accountability for their errors is not in doubt. All their past actions prove this point. The public has only one champion to look after its interests when those interests collide with the banks profit driven interests and that champion is the government that is elected by the people to make the best decisions for all of us. The actions outlined by President Obama to curtail the excesses of US banks are long overdue. The public has not been well served by the selfish and self-serving actions of the banks . Banks have clearly demonstrated through their actions since the recent financial meltdown that they are incapable of changing their ways. The only solution to create a fair playing field in which public interests are held as equally important, and in some cases more important, than the interests of the banks is for government, as the representative of all of us, to step in and regulate banking activities so these activites assist us and not ruin us. In this way banks will be forced to play the role society intends for them, which is to support society not to fleece it.

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