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Global bankers holding a pity party for themselves

By Jim Hightower, Fri., Jan. 3, 2014

Here's an odd New York Times headline: "It's Hard to Summon Sympathy for Big Banks." Well, yeah ... and why would you try?

This piece began with another odd sentence: "It's no fun to be a banker these days." Really? I'd think that counting those multimillion-dollar annual paychecks would be jolly fun. But money doesn't buy love, and it seems that the global princes of high finance are glum because they're not even respected, much less loved. Well, of course not – they've been pigs!

No offense to pigs, but bankers have gotten filthy rich through greed, plundering, and damn-the-public narcissism. So, not only are they social pariahs, but even bank regulators around the world are no longer as deferential as they were before the 2008 financial crash. While meek regulators haven't exactly turned into tigers, at least they're slapping some of the banking syndicates that caused the crash with multibillion-dollar fines – and they're even publicly scolding a few of the banksters.

This has set off a pity party among Wall Streeters and other big bankers. "At what point does this stop?" whined a Bank of America executive. Complaining about paying out $13 billion for some of his bank's crimes, a JPMorgan poobah said: "We should all be concerned that there doesn't seem to be a natural end point to how high fines can go."

Note that he wasn't concerned about an end point to the crimes bankers are committing. Likewise, the top executive of Deutsche Bank was outraged that a German official has criticized bankers there for evading regulation: "It's irresponsible to comment in such a populist manner," cried the haughty banker. Again, no concern for the irresponsibility of bankers who keep evading regulation.

What we have here is business as usual. For bankers, it's still all about themselves – money over ethics. And they wonder why they're not loved?

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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