In March of 2009 I wrote an opinion on the big banks, their executives, and what they did to cause the financial crisis that almost melted down the entire global economy.
Just over a year ago, as the total collapse of the financial system was unraveling, the banks were given a huge bailout despite the fact that clearly over 90% of those that wrote, called, and e-mailed their Congressional representatives told them NO bailout. The banks had misused depositors and investors money and deserved to fail.
Our corporate bought, non-responsive members of Congress voted for the bailout, despite their constituent’s admonition of such a use of taxpayer’s money. Despite the fact that some of these big banks have kinda paid-back the TARP (Toxic Asset Relief Program) funds they were given, they still have billions in government guarantees for their toxic assets, corporate bonds, and shares we still own.
Are the banks remorseful for causing the recession and a bad economy for millions of hard-working Americans and their families? They’re giving out billions of dollars in bonuses! Have they learned anything from their mistakes?
The answer is unequivocally—NO!
They continue to use depositor’s money to take huge risks in a shaky, ebullient stock market that doesn’t factor in the consumer, and don’t seem to care about Main Street and their struggles.
As an example, JP Morgan Chase, one of the supposed darlings of the Big banks, is preparing to give out $9.3 billion in bonuses after reporting $3.3 billion profit in the 4th quarter, despite losing money in all of their ‘real’ banking products: credit cards, mortgages, auto, and commercial loans. They lost $2.6 billion in their core products.
You see, JP Morgan Chase made all of their money on bets, essentially gambles, in the stock market; a market that is clearly overheated and if it fails again, will cause these arrogant behemoths to once again lose billions of dollars. The obvious conclusion is that they’ll collapse, without taxpayer help, as they should have one year ago.
But we, the American taxpayer, won’t be there when it falls again. It’s time to wipe the Big banks off the landscape. Read the opinion “Too Big to Fail; Too Big to Bail!” on the Economics/Opinions page at It’s Worth an Opinion, the voice of cutting edge opinions on politics and economics.
At the time I wrote the opinion I began doing things immediately to protect myself: paying down debt, using cash, not using my credit cards, etc. It’s working, but it requires discipline, sacrifice, and hard work. But the next step is the important one.
It involves moving money from the Big Banks to small, responsible community banks or credit unions, as I also advocated in the article.
It’s now even easier to do. Read the article I will post on Tuesday: “Move Your Money.” It’s time to protect yourselves, to take charge of your own banking sanity. Your financial lives are at stake here!
If hard-working Americans are going to survive this financial morass they have to start thinking community rather than global. And you’ll sleep much better knowing your money is safe and helping your community grow stronger.