Ch. 38, Your Friendly Banker as EHM. The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (EHM), John Perkins, 2016.
See also, excerpts from Chapters 34 and 40:
Ch. 34, New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, 2016.
Ch. 40, Istanbul: Tools of Modern Empire, The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (EHM), John Perkins, 2016.
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Now to Chapter 38, Excerpts.
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Chapter 38, Your Friendly Banker as EHM
Perkins received an overture from an executive at a Chase Bank near his home. They met for dinner. The man follows Perkins’ writings.
. . . (The banker speaking) “I have to wonder why you didn’t expose the things we bankers do right here at home. We use the same tools as you EHMs – – on our own folks.” He proceeded to tell me that in recent years bankers had convinced clients to purchase houses that were beyond their means. “A young newlywed couple comes in,” he said, “and asks for a mortgage on a $300,000 home. We convince them to buy a $500,000 one.” . We say, “You may have to tighten your belt a little, but soon your house will be worth a million dollars.” He shook his head sadly. “They’ve been told to trust their banker. Used to be that people in my position would try to talk prospective debtors down, not up. We were supposed to do everything to prevent foreclosures. But all that changed.
“What changed it?”
INSERT: I didn’t type up the “he said” parts.
“. . . Not sure of the answer. It mostly happened in this millenium. Perhaps it had something to do with 9/11, rising oceans, melting glaciers, fear, our feelings of mortality. Make all the dough you can, as soon as you can, and screw everyone else.” “Drink, dance, consume, and be merry. For us bankers, it was money, money, money. We tried to instill in our clients that there was no tomorrow. Bin Laden will kill us all. So go into debt, buy that big house, fancy car, . . “ “When the bottom fell out of the market, the banks foreclosed, repackaged the loans, and ended up earning huge returns, while that young couple and thousands like them filed for bankruptcy.
. . . (Banker speaking): “You know, the whole system stinks. From inflated home mortgages to college loans, it’s all about servitude to debt. Not that homes or a college education are bad. Of course not. The problem is that we all believe we should do everything to achieve the ‘good life.’ Anything for the American dream. Including burying ourselves in debt.|
INSERT: the law student who wanted to defend homeless people and abused children. But she had amassed more than $200,000 in student loans. Had to get a job with a corporate law firm and devote years to paying off her debt. Then comes buying a home, children, and so on. Now she’s caught in the system, unlikely to ever get out.
(Banker speaking): “Look, I sympathize with everything you write about. Ecuador. I volunteered to clean up beaches hit by the BP oil spill. I’ve seen the damage. Please don’t get me wrong. I think Correa’s plan to sell the Amazon to oil companies is a huge mistake, a crime. My point is that it’s part of a disease that’s infected us here in America also. I just want you to include that in your writings.”
Perkins reminisces about his uncle, a banker.
P. 241: . . . For my uncle, it wasn’t just a matter of not wanting to foreclose. He believed that being a driving force behind the local economy was his job, his duty. It was also his joy in life.
. . . In Uncle Ernest’s view, debt was a means to an end, a partnership between creditor and debtor. For the modern banker, debt paves the road to windfall profits. It delivers people into the EHM system.
A chill ran through me as I thought about how I’d led the march of the modern banker. …
. . . the extent to which modern bankers are willing to go in order to profit off of everyone else, a huge scandal erupted. The 2012 revelations . . . (Libor) demonstrated that (international banks) were capable of ruthlessly betraying the public trust.
. . . it now was revealed that the Libor had been illegally manipulated by the banks from 1991 until 2012. As a result, the banks accumulated immeasurable sums of illicit profits. Once found guilty, the banks were fined more than $9 billion. As of this writing, only one UBS trader, and not a single bank officer, has been indicted.