I read two quotes that resonated with me on the danger of banks if given too much deference and power.
- I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
- The system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens.
Who said them?
Thomas Jefferson. Almost 200 years ago. And they are as true today as they were in 1816.
My source is not some random email or urban myth. Who won't debunk this on snopes.com. My source is Wikipedia.
Jefferson envisioned a nation of farmers. An opponent of corporations, he was far more in favor of a micro-economy than a macro. I believe that if he were alive today, Jefferson might agree that our problems with large banks are an anti-trust issue. They aren't too big to fail; they are just too big. Too big to serve, too big to compete honestly, and too big to care about good faith.
You want to modify your loan? Stop paying us. Then we'll put you through red tape hell before we foreclose.
Write a typo on your mortgage check? We'll wreck your credit and not cooperate while you take months to correct it.
We'll wreck the economy, and when you lose your job and can't pay us back, we'll paint you a deadbeat.
Perhaps Jefferson would agree, that like Standard Oil, that a bank can grow too large and no longer be a benefit to citizens. Are they a monopoly? No. Are they a cabal? I think we all know that answer.
Perhaps Jefferson would be appalled that banks have grown so large and powerful that our current chief executive doesn't want to ruffle their feathers (to hell with our feathers, I guess. They've already been plucked). When I think of the arse kicking Obama gave General Motors, it makes me sad that he won't show that kind of moxie with the banks. His popularity would go up 25% if he did, and it could make a difference in our national morale. Instead, we have banks so large that they give the President of the United States pause.
The President of the United States. Is anyone old enough to recall when John F. Kennedy put his finger in the chest of US Steel? Since I don't think Obama is a coward, we have a problem.
Too big to fail? No, too big to be any good to us.
Break them up.