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Who needs Wall Street giants?
JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and the other Wall Street behemoths that dominate American banking – who needs 'em?
After enduring years of insatiable greed by the slick-fingered hucksters who run these gambling houses; after watching in dismay as their ineptness and avarice drained more than $19 trillion from America’s household wealth since 2007 and plunged our real economy into financial crisis; after seeing them get trillions-of-dollars in taxpayer bailouts to save their banks and their jobs; and now after learning that they've returned to paying multimillion-dollar bonuses to themselves – we have to ask: Huh!?!
Oh, no-no, cry the banking titans, don’t even think of looking behind the curtain! Trust us, for we are essential to juicing the economy with our complex abracadabra investment schemes.
In fact, however, those schemes just move money around, siphoning real investment capital from the grassroots up to superrich global profiteers. Shell games at carnival sideshows are more honest than big-bank trading houses, for the hustles of JPMorgan, Goldman, BOA, etc. are based on financial illusions, off-the-books accounting, illegally-leveraged borrowing, ridiculous tax subsidies, and hide-the-pea secrecy.
The obvious truth is that these high-flying, high-tech, high-speed emporiums of high finance serve themselves, not us – so we have no obligation or need to keep serving them. Of course we need banks – to lend to us consumers and our productive businesses, to handle our commercial transactions, to manage our savings and provide financial advice, etc. But that’s not what the leviathans of Wall Street do. So, rather than protecting them, let’s decentralize America’s capital, reinvesting our public trust in community banks and credit unions that actually serve it... and deserve it.
"The Modest Worth of Big Banks," www.nytimes.com, May 23, 2012.