Richieville Explains The Recession: Part I

Relax: Banks Are More Important Than You

In these times of economic uncertainty, many of us feel the stress of mounting bills, ballooning mortgage payments, losing our jobs, losing our health insurance, losing our unemployment insurance, losing our savings, losing our homes, and all the other worries, big and small, that have become part of our post-recession lifestyles. Yet by putting your problems in their proper perspective, you will find it possible to face that imminent foreclosure with an uncaring and light-hearted acceptance. Because here is the simple and liberating truth: your financial problems are not important. In fact, they’re insignificant. They’re so insignificant you can just forget about them. 
What is important? Banks are important. Believe it or not,  banks are much more important than you are.  Or, to put it another way:

  • Banks – important. 
  • Your problems – not so important. 

Once you absorb this crucial bit of information, you can relax about your impending bankruptcy and enjoy life once more. It’s just that simple.

Why are banks so very important? Because banks are the veins and arteries through which the blood of commerce flows, keeping afloat the ship of prosperity and letting the 16-wheelers of free enterprise roll swiftly down the superhighway of capitalism. Without the crucial role of banks, our economic steam engine would sink under the waves of the congealed crude oil of fiscal contraction then shrivel and blow away in the tsunami of depression.
Without a functioning banking system, our economy would collapse and the gears of consumer society would grind to a halt. Think of the pain that would cause! That’s why the federal government laid out $1 trillion to rescue the banks when they were about to go bankrupt because of the bad deals they made. The government had to do it because – banks are important!
But, Richieville, you ask, right now over 40 states are cutting their budgets. They’re cutting funds for public education, they’re laying off thousands of workers, they’re eliminating or reducing public health programs, along with programs for the elderly, the sick and the poor. That sounds sort of like pain, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t the federal government do something about that?
Wrong! That’s not pain – that’s necessary pain. Laying off workers and denying sick people medical care is just the unfortunate price we all have to pay until the great nuclear reactor of the free market reaches critical mass and raises all boats on the erupting lava flow of improved productivity and consumer confidence.
The point is, when the banks bought worthless securities and amassed huge amounts of debt to the point of insolvency, Congress had to cover their losses even though it meant increasing the deficit, because – banks are important! But when states face huge deficits because they borrowed a lot of money and now the recession has driven down their tax revenues, Congress can’t do anything about it because it would mean increasing the deficit. It’s true that little kids are being cut from state-run health insurance programs and college students are being forced to drop out of school and seniors are losing their community centers and state employees are being forced to take pay cuts, but there’s nothing that can be done about it because – they’re not banks!
But Richieville, you continue, somewhat obstinately, all these layoffs and cuts in state budgets will surely slow down the economic recovery or even drive us into a second recession. Isn’t that sort of important? The answer is, not really. What’s really important is that if we do dip into a second recession, the mucous membrane of the banking system will be intact, ready to allow the osmosis of capital that will drive profits around the particle accelerator of investment, restoring life to the drought-stricken plains of corporate growth.
So, as you can see, while you may be forced to live in your car, eat dog food and sell one of your kidneys to survive, you really don’t have much to worry about. And once you get over the mistaken belief that these problems are important, you’ll feel much better. After all, things could be really bad – you could be a multi-billion dollar global investment and securities firm like Goldman Sachs or Citigroup. Then you’d have real problems. But don’t worry, you’re not a bank, you’re just insignificant you. Aren’t you glad?

For more Richieville humor, read the comic si-fi novel, Rate Me Red.

Leave a Reply