Quote on Banksters

Managing Real Estate Broker with Howard Hanna Rand Realty License # 49FA1074963

I read two quotes that resonated with me on the danger of banks if given too much deference and power. 

  1. I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
  2. The system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens.
Who said them? 
Thomas Jefferson. Almost 200 years ago. And they are as true today as they were in 1816. 
My source is not some random email or urban myth. Who won't debunk this on snopes.com. My source is Wikipedia. 

Jefferson envisioned a nation of farmers. An opponent of corporations, he was far more in favor of a micro-economy than a macro. I believe that if he were alive today, Jefferson might agree that our problems with large banks are an anti-trust issue. They aren't too big to fail; they are just too big. Too big to serve, too big to compete honestly, and too big to care about good faith. 

Thomas Jefferson envisioned a nation of farmersYou want to modify your loan? Stop paying us. Then we'll put you through red tape hell before we foreclose. 
Write a typo on your mortgage check? We'll wreck your credit and not cooperate while you take months to correct it. 
We'll wreck the economy, and when you lose your job and can't pay us back, we'll paint you a deadbeat. 

Perhaps Jefferson would agree, that like Standard Oil, that a bank can grow too large and no longer be a benefit to citizens. Are they a monopoly? No. Are they a cabal? I think we all know that answer. 

Perhaps Jefferson would be appalled that banks have grown so large and powerful that our current chief executive doesn't want to ruffle their feathers (to hell with our feathers, I guess. They've already been plucked). When I think of the arse kicking Obama gave General Motors, it makes me sad that he won't show that kind of moxie with the banks. His popularity would go up 25% if he did, and it could make a difference in our national morale. Instead, we have banks so large that they give the President of the United States pause.

The President of the United States. Is anyone old enough to recall when John F. Kennedy put his finger in the chest of US Steel? Since I don't think Obama is a coward, we have a problem. 

Too big to fail? No, too big to be any good to us.

Break them up. 


Comments (20)

J. Philip Faranda
Howard Hanna Rand Realty - Yorktown Heights, NY
Associate Broker / Office Manager

True, David. True. 

Oct 26, 2010 02:36 PM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Well, the argument then was about having centralized banks that would support a centralized government. Jefferson was a Virginian first and an American second....and he was an elitist Virginian who didn't want to support the ignorant and uncouth New Englanders with Virginia's wealth. His struggle with "the bankers" over creating a federal Treasury went to the roots of how we would define ourselves as a nation.

Decentralizing the US banking system during a recession would potentially reap enormous benefits for certain shareholders and institutional investors...and smaller bits would likely become more attractive to foreign investors.

This isn't easy....but talking it out sure helps.

Oct 26, 2010 02:42 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Philip, as I was reading these quotes, I was wondering if they were Jefferson or Franklin.  And, yeah, I am old enough to remember many of the details of Kennedy's presidency!  I am so much older than I look!

Oct 26, 2010 02:54 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Somebody needs to put their finger in the Banker's chest and say whoa! We aren't playing this game any more. About the time we get a politician to take this on they get bought out.

Oct 26, 2010 03:14 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Obama can't accomplish his goals if he smacks down the banks... they aren't counter to the destruction of Capitalism... until they figure out that they just get to be the last institution that is dismantled. 

Oct 26, 2010 03:45 PM
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Is this one of those blogs you told me you were going to blog about? Big and loud with your opinions?

Oct 26, 2010 04:18 PM
Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi - Lodi, CA
The Nines Team in Lodi

Phil - Unfortunately the issue is not just banks ... but somewhere between Jefferson and today, we seem to have lost the path.  The framers of the constitution weren't putting in place a career track for political scientists ... they were putting in place a representative "public servant"  model of government.  There is such a collection of "little things" that cause complaint, that when taken all together ... they are nearly overwhelming.  The very idea that an institution is too big to fail ... is a far cry from the intent of the framers.  The issue that faces us today - are we willing to suffer the inconvenience of "reconstruction ..." at the base levels of government?  As you point out, Jefferson supported "small business" and our institutions today just give it "lipservice ..."

Oct 26, 2010 04:59 PM
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity

Great post.  I like your spunk.  Reblogged.

Oct 26, 2010 05:25 PM
Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

Too big to fail is ridiculous and if they are break them up into smaller parts and let those fail.  Why are we rewarding the failures instead of the successes.

Oct 26, 2010 06:46 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

J. Philip -- good one!!!  Yes, I thought about it the other evening that the founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves right about now.  This is not the great Nation they had envisioned.  The farmers are ALL corporations now too!  Yup, they're all spinning.  Maybe they'll come out and haunt us in a few days!!!

Oct 26, 2010 06:49 PM
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Jefferson was spot on.  Timeless!

The banks need to be busted into tiny pieces just like Ma Bell was years ago.....only it's far more important.



The reason the President got tough with General Motors is he could satisfy two important consituencies....those who hate (big) business and the auto unions that gained more power over corporate governance as part of the deal.

Oct 26, 2010 07:06 PM
Patty Luther
RE/MAX Rock-n-Roll Realty - Lewiston, ID
Lewiston ID Real Estate, Idaho-Washington

Great post~ interesting. And Thomas Jefferson is one of my favorite~

Oct 26, 2010 07:16 PM
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

Hi Phil, awesome post and keep them coming! I also do not understand why Obama is taking a back seat with the banks. I really thought he wouldn't.

Oct 26, 2010 11:24 PM
Mike Saunders
Retired - Athens, GA

JP perhaps we should go back to the previous model, but that had its major problems too. Right now, I can make a deposit in a branch of my bank affiliated credit union in one state and it immediately shows up in my account at home. It wasn't that long ago that if I deposited a check in Seattle Washington it took 5 days for it to be credited to my account in California because of existing federal reserve district policies.

Oct 27, 2010 01:43 AM
Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556
Corcoran Legends Realty - Tarrytown, NY
Corcoran Legends Realty

...banking and lending as it is today will not last into the next decade... the 'giants' are going to be soon bankrupt again... smaller and more hyper local banks and credit unions will step in to serve us and our businesses... and guess what... there is no need, nor was there ever a need for giant banks that cannot get out of their own way...

Oct 27, 2010 04:27 PM
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

An excellent history lesson.  Go rent Capitalism A Love Story.  You will see the CEO of Goldman Sachs lean in to then President Reagan and tell him to hurry up.  The president was in the middle of a speech at the time.  Who tells the President of the US to hurry up?  Politicians don't have the guts to do we.  We will have to break them up ourselves.  Bank Locally Owned!  Stop using credit cards backed by "big banks"  - Bank Local.  Put voter initiatives on the ballot that force implementation of a flat tax and an end to special interest groups in congress.

Oct 27, 2010 07:23 PM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Phil, great blog - suggested.  Sheila Bair has now made it on my idiot of the week list.  These people really think we are stupid?

Oct 27, 2010 08:48 PM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Banksters, hmmmm!  There may be some similar historical resonance with another "too big to fail" entity.  All Aboard!

Oct 28, 2010 03:39 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Thomas Jefferson was a very smart man.  Looking back to his quotes often gives the same a-ha moment today. 

Oct 28, 2010 05:02 AM