An Open Letter to the Big Banks and Financial Institutions

In a way, you should be thankful. Not everyone gets the kind of chance you have now.

I’m sure you remember twelve years ago: you guys got really into selling derivatives and derivatives of derivatives, and you pumped the housing market up til it popped. The whole economy was set to go down the toilet, with y’all leading the way. You were greedy. You were irresponsible. And you left us holding the bag.

And we, the American people, bailed your asses out. We pumped you full of TARP cash, gave you zero-interest loans, bought those worthless derivatives of derivatives, and dragged your over-leveraged, too-big-to-fail near-carcasses back from the brink of bankruptcy and dissolution. Then we propped you up and kept you going, til now you’re bigger and stronger than ever.

Now that COVID-19 is shutting down the economy, it’s time for you to return the favor.

Loan payments? Suspended. Mortgage payments? The same. Small business grants and low- to no-cost loans? Bring ’em on. Keep paying employees who suddenly don’t have work to do? You betcha. Hire more outside contractors and freelancers so those folks have money coming in? There’s never been a better time.

Like I said at the beginning, you should count yourselves lucky. Not everyone gets a chance to balance the scales when someone saves their lives, preserves their very existence. But you, you now have the opportunity to square things out, clear the karmic ledger, and return the favor we did you twelve years ago when you really, really needed it.

I hope you’ll have the decency and foresight to do the right thing here. Because it’ll be good for your souls, because it’s the right thing to do.

And because if you don’t, and go on in your usual callous, rapacious, self-serving way, we’re gonna burn your shit to the ground and dance on the ashes. Trust.

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