Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Banking Sector and You

Being an ex-employee of high finance, all these many moons ago, watching what has happened in the past four years has been instructive to me, in my perch in the ivory tower. I was associated long ago with practices like foreclosing on homes of people with catastrophic healthcare costs, the practice of lending and mortgages to people without proof of employment or income, and variable interest rate loans. It is why I quit the industry a decade ago, to cleanse myself of those soulless practices, and went back to grad school, so angry it made me to how my employers would take away peoples' lives, while then handing out credit cards like drugs at colleges with 25% APRs. However, even then, I never anticipated a $600 trillion derivatives market, which is not only unregulated but unlisted. Betting on our futures with a system that is ten times greater in GDP size than our global economy is not my idea of reasonable, particularly in light of how our banks gutted and threw us into the current recession.

One of the most educational and informative interviews I have seen in a long time is C-SPAN's Q&A with Janet Tavakoli. She is an ex-engineer and finance executive, who has written several articles and books on her old employers and how/why they have wrecked our economy and way of life. It is almost an hour long, but it is well worth the time and effort, and it synopsizes many of the problems we currency face (and will encounter in the near future).

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