Banker Arrogance, Exhibit #137
Pop quiz: who said the following, in what context?
“We all benefited from the financial system. All of us.”
A. President Obama, justifying using trillions in taxpayer money to fortify the nation’s too-big-to-fail banks.
B. An anonymous retiree, rationalizing the .25% (as in 4 x .25% = 1%!) annual interest — before tax! — that he’s now collecting on his savings.
C. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, explaining his actions to rescue Wall Street.
D. A latter-day Tiny Tim, expressing gratitude (“God Bless Us, Every One!”)
E. One of the millions of U.S. homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure last year — or are in jeopardy now.
F. Robert Diamond, the President of Barclays Capital, one of Britain’s biggest banks, and the recipient, personally, of more than $90 million in bonuses and salary the last 4 years, justifying his paycheck. (Source: ‘Executive at Barclays Defends Pay’; The New York Times, 12/19/09)
And no, Mr. Diamond, it’s patently false that “all of us benefited from the financial system” (at the very least, it would seem that some of us “benefited” quite a bit more than others).
P.S.: why does every institution and individual responsible for the financial melt-down have to have a financially tinged surname? Examples: Goldman Sachs, Alan Greenspan, Robert Diamond, etc. Maybe it’s easier to identify the culprits that way.