A Typical American

May 13, 2009

Jamie Dimon is Gunna’ Buy Me A Pony

Recently Elizabeth Warren,

Were only all lying to ourselves this much
Were only all lying to ourselves this much

Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP Program, sat down with Charlie Rose to discuss amongst other things the Treasury Stress Testing of Banks, and Credit Card Agreements.  I didn’t get to see the entire interview but if you’re curious please feel free to view a clip http://www.charlierose.com/view/clip/10296.

Despite everything that was said in the 20 minute interview, what struck me the most was Ms. Warren’s incredulous comments about “having a place at the table for the American family”.  The table being the discussion between banks, and what responsibilities they owe to the American people as a result of the massive amounts of bailout funds they have received over the past 18 months.   Now I’m not saying Ms. Warren is lying, or even being disingenuous herself, she could truly believe the lie she is telling. Two books, “The Two Income Trap” and “All Your Worth” would suggest her idealism is genuine.

It’s no mystery that in the 21st century, finance has dominated the lives of almost every American.  It is near impossible to live your life without borrowing some money, from somewhere, at some point in time, whether it is to buy a home or a car, finance your education, pay for medical expenses, or simply bridge the gap from paycheck to paycheck and keep the lights on.

Saying however, that banks “owe “the American people and should adapt their policies and profiteering to better the average persons economic life is disingenuous.   Sure it’s a wonderful idea, but it’s about as plausible as Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt showing up to your front door in their underwear, professing their undying love for you, or most people under the age of 25 paying of their student loans by the time they are 30.

True, over the coming months, we will hear the same hyperbole from elected  and appointed officials, yelling to the media that oversight and accountability will rue the day, and they will make sure that financial products are developed in fair and equitable ways, but that would be ignoring the view of the banks, which will not change.

Make no mistake that banks do not and will not give two hoots about the American family. Make no mistake that the polyglot of debt instruments created over the past 40 years is specifically designed to keep people in debt for eternity. If you don’t believe me, take out a 500 dollar credit card, buy something, pay it off the same month, close the account, and watch your credit score drop.  Banks have no interest in people actually fulfilling their debt obligations.

How much money, how many donations, and how many promises of favors, will it take for them to simply side with the banks?   It is true, that we elect representatives to have our best interest in mind when they develop and execute their policies, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that like everything else, there will be a fair amount of window dressing that’s proposed, and adopted, that will simply glaze over the underlying fact that everyone will still be paying their lives away to bank x, y, or z, until the day they die.

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