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A Modest Banking Solution

April 9th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Friends, family, and acquaintances are raising questions about whether President Obama  can accomplish  what we helped elect him to do. Will the wars end in Iraq and Afghanistan? Will clean energy really be funded? Will Bush-era wiretap and other privacy violations be sufficiently curtailed?  Will single payer health care get endorsed or merely sidelined? Will the entire national pocketbook be emptied into Wall Street?

For her part, buckdata is wondering why money isn’t getting to the people most hard hit by this depression, such as those on the verge of losing their homes, those who have already lost them, and those for whom a tarp is not a government program but a literal roofing strategy in tent cities around the country.

To aid the President—on this issue at least– the following modest solution is hereby submitted:

Let’s all be bankers! Maybe it’s time for the poor and dispossessed and the rest of us to found some banks. Buckdata has a few in mind: First Foreclosure Bank in Stockton, Credit Default Swappers Bank in the New Orleans Ninth Ward, Toxic Assets Bank in Flint, Bonus Plus Bank with a nice Manhattan address, the Bank of Kaput in New Shock, Pennsylvania, and, of course, the online Bank of Buckdata.

Consider the possibilities: Laid off attorneys can volunteer time to help with the charters and incorporations. Laid off Wall Street employees can help us set up the books. Laid off web designers can devote their graphics talents to creating suitable online presence and branding. Impoverished retirees can exhume their mothballed suits and ties to lend us all gravitas at the headquarters front office.

Once the banks are set up, perhaps the homeless, the foreclosed, the evicted, and the about-to-be dispossessed will be able to approach Washington politely, hats (if we still have them) in hand, in search of generous bailouts. After all, a democracy, too, involves a contractual obligation, doesn’t it?

The proposal has a further benefit: If the sheriff’s deputies should arrive to evict us before the bucks start rolling in, we can always live in the vault. –buckdata

Note to readers: This is a satire. The above banks do not now exist. There is no Bank of Kaput in New Shock, Pennsylvania. There is no New Shock, Pennsylvania. No intention to single out particular existing institutions should be inferred from this blog post. This caution is necessary because of an unusual initiative reported in the New York Times on April 8. The article by Graham Bowley and Michael J. de la Merced details a scenario in which ordinary citizens may  be cajoled to invest in private mutual funds which are to be set up with government support to purchase other private institutions’ soured assets. The writers suggest such citizen investments may be envisioned as similar to the patriotic purchases of “Liberty Bonds” during the World War I. In such an audacious climate, formal disclaimers truly become necessary. Without such disclaimers, even well-informed readers may find themselves unable to distinguish pastiche from reality.

Tags: American Grotesque · It's about time!

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Nancy Webb // May 15, 2009 at 11:29 am

    It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to put such a disclaimer on satire! Bucks from Buckdata, now there’s a bank for you.

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