Credit swaps, derivatives, high bonuses, risk taking; all have been blamed for the banking crisis, but are they the real causes? No!
It’s quite simple, it’s the bank itself, and yes I mean the building. Remember when a bank was a real bank, a large building with lots of marble, impressive columns, a solid, stable structure that just oozed strength. The name of the bank was carved into the stone edifice, they weren’t going anywhere. Inside it was quite formal, with 30 foot high ceilings, large wood desks that would make Louis XVI proud. There was a long cashier counter with people actually standing in each space and there was no darn drive up window, you walked in the bank, stood in line and did your business which meant you handed them a passbook and saw your money entered right on the pages.
All that is gone, today you can’t tell a bank (which seems to be on every corner in every community) from the Burger King. Do I want my money surrounded by glass and plastic, no I want strength, I want my bank too big and strong and covered in marble and granite to fail. I want to see my bank standing 2,000 years from now like a brothel in Pompeii.
Money is serious business, it may be fine to put a McDonald’s in a hopsital (yes they do and so much for the wellness initiative), but I want my bank to make me feel inadequate if I don’t enter wearing a suit and tie.
And that’s why we have a banking crisis.