Distant View of America's Fall
Sunday, June 01, 2003

I have to call this one "How to rob a bank without even crying" and dedicate it to Dubya's little brother who helped out with the same kind of scam in Colorado. Still, I sort of like the innovative way it was reported in the local newspaper, in per capita terms. It worked out at 16,000 yen/head. Or was it 18,000? Anyway, over a $100, but it's part of the way the scam works, since the victims don't really feel it directly. The precise form? Yet another bank bailout, but still following the basic pattern of the Reagan years. However, you can't even give Reagan credit for the innovation. He was (as usual) asleep at the wheel, and variations of these scams have been going on for many years.

Just to clarify, a lot of people deposited various amounts of money in this bank. Me, too, though a very minor account, and way back when it was called Daiwa. The bankers lost it. The money is gone, the bank is kaput, and the bankers then begged the government to bail them out. The government moaned and cried a bit, then said they had to protect "public confidence" in the financial institutions, and they forked over the money. Our tax money, of course. In a sense, I actually come out ahead in this deal, since it's all of the other taxpayers who are making sure I can get my original money back, and I'm sure most of them use other banks.

A couple of high honchos at the bank resigned to take responsibility. Whoopee. No one has to go to jail or anything awkward or embarrassing like that. Just unlucky business decisions and a lot of "non-performing" loans. Sounds so much better than saying the bankers gambled the money away. All wonderfully legal, and the taxpayers will now foot the bill.

That's funny, I don't feel more confidence. I feel like I've been conned.

Isn't it a wonderful con game? If you try to rob a bank with a gun you'll get slam dunked big time, but if you "misplace" all of the bank's money (Well, about 98% in this case), then you have to retire early, and the public pays it back. (Actually simplifying the fancy numbers a bit. The actual state of insolvency involves reserve margins, but like Dubya says, it's just a bunch of complicated accounting stuff. Of course, he was alleged to be company president at that time...)

Ah, it must be so nice to be a rich banker like so many of Dubya's buddies. The rest of Dubya's buddies are the rich banker's customers--like the Enron boys who were so good at making the banks' money disappear. Of course that must be legal, too. None of them have gone to jail, either. Just like Neil Bush danced away.

Basically focused on what Dubya Bush is doing to the nation of my birth...

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