"Too Big to Fail" is the fault of the Average Citizen
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Thread: "Too Big to Fail" is the fault of the Average Citizen

  1. #1

    Lightbulb "Too Big to Fail" is the fault of the Average Citizen

    I watched with interest about a month ago the HBO special called "Too Big to Fail" about the big multinational banks that had to be bailed out by congress when the real estate bubble burst and all of their assets that had been anchoring their portfolios became worthless. The real estate...every little 3 bedroom, 2 bath house that they had made a loan on suddenly plummeted in value and their multi-trillion dollar portfolios were not worth the paper they were printed on.

    And the fed had been printing paper hand over fist. As long as the presses could get paper and ink, the dollar bills rolled off of the federal reserve as fast as they could with the blessing of the Fed Chairman. The power brokers and the politicians pooled all of the assets and all of the money into just a few towers of power (corporations) and put the power into the hands of a few and they did it with the blessing of the only people that could've stopped them. Do you know who that is?

    You.

    Me.

    Us.

    I think back to the late 80's and I remember when I belonged to a little local bank by the name of Crocker Bank. They had a fair amount of assets, they made plenty of loans at good rates and the tellers remembered you by name because they worked full-time and there were just enough customers that they could remember you. Then one day I received a notice that a gigantic mega-bank was going to buy my friendly local bank. I had 60 days to file a letter of complaint if I did not agree with the purchase and there was a public meeting that I could attend as well. I sent a letter and attended the meeting, but there were only 23 people at the meeting. All of it did no good as my bank was gobbled up. Mega Bank also promised that everything would stay the same and no branches would close if the purchase took place...it took them only three weeks to close my branch and leave me branchless. I found another small, local bank and opened an account. It took five months to receive another Mega Bank purchase letter! I did all of the anti-purchase steps again and lost again. Again I lost my branch in two months. This scenario repeated itself three more times in five years.

    The point of all this is that the way to keep power from being centralized and increased to the point of a "Too Big to Fail" scenario is to keep it DE-centralized in smaller companies that do not hold trillions of dollars of real estate assets and will not hold the country hostage if it goes bankrupt. When these small banks and small banking chains were being bought up left and right by the large mega banks and the announcements were made in the paper that "Wells Fargo (or Bank of America or Citibank or any other Mega Bank) has Set its Sights on Acquiring (any little bank)" we all just sat back and let it go, not caring that the power and money was being consolidated under a handful of men. However, now that they have it all, guess what? We can't make them give it up. They won't DE-centralize the banks or go back to what is good for America or Americans. They simply held a gun to Congress and made them give up tax dollars under the threat of collapsing America if the Mega Banks fell.

    And we did it.

    Our apathy created the "Too Big to Fail" scenario.

    The robber barrons that run those banks asked for it, the politicians rubber-stamped the approval for it, but we had the power to stand up and say "NO! I don't want this!" and we sat by and watched the power consolidate right in front of us. They didn't even hide it - it was in the newspapers and on the TV news every day. It was in their quarterly statements, but no one tried to stem the tide.

    Guess what? As the saying goes, "You can't put the ***** back in the horse."

    We need to quit being so apathetic that we allow this to go on in front of our noses. We need to spend at least as much time reading about current events as we do watching "Dancing with the Stars." We need to care about more than just the things that affect us directly, as some of these things may come back to affect all of us more than we could possibly realize.

    We need to act.

    Write an email. To a Senator. To a Congressman. Write a letter. To the Editor of the newspaper. Try it once. Then do it again. You'd be surprised how easy it becomes. And then you can finally say, "I actually DID something." Because until you do something, it's all talk.

    And talk is equal to exactly NOTHING.
    Edmund Burke: “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” – 1784 speech. Taken from Founding Fathers Notes. "The unarmed man is not just defenseless -- he is also contemptible." Machiavelli

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  3. #2
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    Outstanding Post, TekGreg! One of my favorite sayings: Representative government is NOT a spectator sport!

    Sadly, it's gotten to the point where, if people do NOT participate in their government, they not have a government that will ALLOW them to participate!
    Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia...Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

  4. #3
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    Complacency -- cannot fight thinking their voices will never be heard; it will happen anyway so what the heck can I do? -- attitudes like these are the best formula for disaster where, if all of us have the same attitude and thinking, it will be just as easy for the guv'ment to swallow us all and make us their slaves. Talk is cheap, we need to move, walk our talk and talk our walk.
    "Don't let the door hit ya where the dawg shudda bit ya!"
    G'day and Glock
    GATEWAY SWIFT WING ST. LOUIS

  5. #4
    You've got it right, TekGreg. Far too many of us just ignore the history in the making. When people tell me they have no interest in politics, I remind them that politics does have an interest in them!
    "I want a government small enough to fit inside the Constitution." Harry Browne - 1933 - 2006.

  6. #5
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    Still comes down to 535 people that we elect every election cycle to represent our interest. They and they alone have made it possible for the big banks to take over. They also set up the failure of the real estate bubble to bust by forcing banks to loan to people that could not afford to repay the loans. Now they run around blaming greedy rich people for a bad economy they created. now what do all us made voters do. We re-elected them to fix a problem they created. Is that anyway to run a country?
    "You can get a lot accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit" - Ronald Reagan

  7. #6
    My voting philosophy for the next election is of they are currently in office vote against them.

  8. #7
    While there is a lot of truth in what you posted, in any discussion regarding the financial crisis, there is one segment of society that seems to be exempt from blame. How about the idiots (yes, idiots) who purchased homes they could not afford to begin with, or who purchased homes, then lost the home 3 months after 1 spouse lost a job, or the people who can afford their homes, but are walking anyway because it is trendy to walk when you are "underwater"?
    No one "made" anyone make the decisions that were made. Foreclosures, like them or not, are just the market correcting itself. Even today, people are purchasing homes for 150-200k with less than 3k down on a regular basis. Some people never learn. Too bad

  9. #8
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    Just imagine then how our Founding Fathers would feel seeing us by the millions ignoring the "gobbling up" of our freedoms, the shredding of our Bill of Rights, erosion of property rights, one little law at a time. Can't carry (bear arms) here, must pay government for permission to carry there and on and on. Infringements.

    We worry about banks, and that is a noble thing to want to protect private business, but the very framework of the freedoms that allow such endeavors is being dismantled right before our eyes.

    How many of us has done more in the past, say 7 days, than participate in forums to fight against this tyranny?
    1)"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson.
    2)"Imagine how gun control might be stomped if GOA or SAF had the (compromising) NRA's 4 million members!" -Me. http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/nraletter.htm

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker's Mom View Post
    Complacency -- cannot fight thinking their voices will never be heard; it will happen anyway so what the heck can I do? -- attitudes like these are the best formula for disaster where, if all of us have the same attitude and thinking, it will be just as easy for the guv'ment to swallow us all and make us their slaves. Talk is cheap, we need to move, walk our talk and talk our walk.
    That's what I was trying to say, but you said much more sunccintly.
    1)"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson.
    2)"Imagine how gun control might be stomped if GOA or SAF had the (compromising) NRA's 4 million members!" -Me. http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/nraletter.htm

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by buddy View Post
    While there is a lot of truth in what you posted, in any discussion regarding the financial crisis, there is one segment of society that seems to be exempt from blame. How about the idiots (yes, idiots) who purchased homes they could not afford to begin with, or who purchased homes, then lost the home 3 months after 1 spouse lost a job, or the people who can afford their homes, but are walking anyway because it is trendy to walk when you are "underwater"?
    No one "made" anyone make the decisions that were made. Foreclosures, like them or not, are just the market correcting itself. Even today, people are purchasing homes for 150-200k with less than 3k down on a regular basis. Some people never learn. Too bad
    Buddy, that has a lot to do with personal responsibility and how an individual uses it. The problem is that anything that has a valid, useful purpose can almost always be abused. When I was a real estate agent in California, our office used non-qualifying loans to put people in homes, but we did our own due diligence. It was usually for someone that had worked in the industry for 10 years and had just started their own business and didn't have two years of tax returns. We never had any of our non-conforming loans fail, but we used them responsibly. Investors that just wanted us to use them because they were there were told to go elsewhere, because we didn't want to be flooding the market with junk paper and making a bad name for ourselves, but there is always someone that will take the almighty dollar over responsibility.
    Edmund Burke: “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” – 1784 speech. Taken from Founding Fathers Notes. "The unarmed man is not just defenseless -- he is also contemptible." Machiavelli

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