I don't believe in God. I know this may be an interesting way to start a piece about today's bankers. I simply wanted to start from a point of clarity and honesty with my audience. If you believe in God that's great for you. I don't believe in magic, the Easter Bunny or Santa Clause either, but each to his own.
God allegedly had a son named Jesus and Jesus was big into getting rid of the money changers. Hence the following quote from John 2:13-16
"And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise."
I copied the passage above word-for-word from the Internet, and therefore the chance of it being even remotely accurate is probably about 1 in Wikipedia, or virtually none. I think Jesus was a nice man. He didn't walk on water or heal the sick. I don't believe in much of anything that was written over 2,000 years ago and I don't believe these stories anymore than I believe the fantasies written in books by modern day prophets like Palin and Limbaugh and Beck. I don't think 2,000 years from today anyone is going to be sitting reading these people's words and have the thought "man, I should worship this effluvia."
I've worked in banking for almost 20 years. Following the subprime debacle I quit. There reaches a certain point in everyone's life when they finally have to say if I'm going to be making a living doing something as distasteful as this I'd rather be blowing sailors for 5 bucks a pop and be called the prostitute I am. I'm only sorry it took me so long to reach that conclusion. There are some benefits to blowing sailors I imagine. First, I wouldn't have to invest in ties and nice suits. Second, I wouldn't have to pretend I liked my clientele or the work. Third, I'd be making a living doing something someone got joy out of. Fourth, I'd be making an honest living.
That's not to say blowing sailors at 5 bucks a pop is legal. It's to say it's honest. I know the service I'm offering and the sailors know what they're getting and we agree on a price they consider fair and I provide a service and if they're satisfied maybe I even would get a tip. And, you know neither one us has to sign one goddamn thing. Unlike when someone does something at a bank. Trees quiver in fear when a bank building goes up because even they understand several forests will give up their lives so someone can take out a loan to buy some piece of crap they don't really need or want, but have been told "they just have to have."
Banking's not honest like blowing sailors. I started to lose my desire to be a banker maybe 8 or 9 years ago. I was talking to a man who I held in fairly high esteem because he was really wealthy and therefore I thought really successful; most people would think this I believe. I'll call him Ebeneezer. Ebeneezer is a very good name for a banker. I was talking to Ebeneezer about a competitive bank and their new "Free Checking" product. I laughed.
"They're so desperate they have to have free checking," I said.
"Free checking is great," Ebeneezer said.
"It is?" I asked.
"You bet," he said. "We make a lot of money off free checking."
I looked at him dumbfounded.
"Fees, my friend," he smirked. "Fees. Those folks can't afford a checking account, can't afford checking and they run up monstrous NSF charges." (Insufficient Funds.)
"I made my fortune off those people," he continued.
"Jesus," I said.
He laughed, but not a "ha, ha" that's funny sort of laugh, a guttural type of grumble that you might hear in a movie when the evil doer is about to do something incredibly evil.