Money, money, here's a penny. For the people? No, never any.
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"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
With the J. P. Morgan Chase settlement finally decided, now seems as good a time as any to discuss those most hated of all villains: Bankers.
Generally seen as undeserving of their truly obscene wealth, most people instinctively distrust their skill at jumping their horse over your front line to checkmate you on turn two when you were pretty sure you were playing checkers.
We don't understand most of what they do is what I'm trying to say there.
Also, realize that I am primarily talking about US investment bankers. Canada's banks did pretty well through the crash, primarily because Paul Martin had rejected deregulating the banks as finance minister. Instead, alone amongst the Group of 8, Canada tightened loan-loss and reserve requirements while disallowing major bank mergers. This he did while being criticized by the banks and Stephen Harper, both of whom felt it would put the Canadian financial sector at a disadvantage globally. Fortunately, they were very wrong and Canada came out in a pretty strong position bank-wise.
After the 2008 financial collapse, which was primarily brought about by greed and fraud within the banking sector, it was unclear whether the economy would recover at all. Understandably, there were a lot of people mad. In 2009, Obama spoke to the bankers and made it clear that: "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks."
Fortunately for them, Obama did a damn good job of getting between them and the pitchforks to the point that none of them outside Lehman Brothers actually had to suffer at all. In fact, while 2 million Americans were losing their jobs at the end of 2008 due to the crisis, 2009 would prove to be Wall Street's best year ever. Amidst a $175 billion dollar taxpayer-funded bailout for 9 of the major banks, $32.6 billion of it was being used to provide bonuses even though 'the talent' had only managed to achieve massive losses. Despite the financial sector providing 20% of Obama's campaign funds in 2008, more than any president for the last 20 years, even he had to put his foot down and complain about the obscene culture of huge bonuses for bankers who almost destroyed capitalism.