Where I grew up, in New Orleans, we respectfully bury the dead in style -- and even have fun doing so at jazz funerals. At these funerals you may find folks doing the secondline dance, and some dancing on coffins. Jazz funerals are held for New Orleanians of all races and economic status.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, a total of 237 U.S. banks have died since the beginning of 2008. These all have been small-to medium-sized, and not the behemoths that have been granted second life at taxpayer risk and expense. Given the economic hardships we are experiencing today, it may be healthy and fun to have some jazz funerals when our Too Small To Bailout (TSTB) banks die.
While we're at it, let's show some compassion for the employees who lost their jobs at these TSTB banks. We should also start demanding that more TSTB banks in our communities are kept alive like their Too Big To Fail (TBTF) counterparts.
So how can we bury our TSTB banks in style? Here are a few suggestions:
• Periodically review this FDIC database to keep abreast of the TSTB bank failures.
• If a TSTB bank failed during a given week, choose at least one day of the following week when you won't use your TBTF bank account (if you have one).
• If you must bank during the following week, please do so at a TSTB bank.
• In case you need help finding a solvent TSTB bank, Huffington Post provides a database for these banks in its Move Your Money campaign.
• When you pass by a TBTF bank, do the secondline dance - in honor of the dearly departed TSTB banks and the employees who lost their jobs!
• Just be sure to steer clear of the bank security guard if you decide to secondline. We don't want you to get hurt or arrested.
• Okay, if you are not cool enough to actually do the secondline, just smile and imagine yourself secondlining as you walk pass a TBTF bank.
• Demand that your political representatives fight for serious bank regulations and consumer finance protection - like what we had in place before the Glass-Steagall Act was killed with the help of Bob Rubin and Larry Summers.
• Check out this interesting video - Who repealed the Glass-Steagall Act? . It details how Rubin, Summers and many politicians killed Glass-Steagall and turned our banks into casinos.
• If you still need more convincing of the role Rubin and Summers played in wrecking our economy, read this article: Which Idiot Decided to Repeal Glass-Steagall?
• It's also well known that Rubin and Summers fought Brooksley Born tooth and nail when she tried to regulate the OTC derivatives markets. Learn more about Attorney Born in PBS Frontline's The Warning.
• Oh what the heck, let's show some forgiveness. We will allow Bob Rubin and Larry Summers to attend the TSTB jazz funerals - but only as pallbearers!
• Utilize www.congress.org to help you contact your elected officials. Tell them you demand serious bank reforms and meaningful consumer finance protection.
• Be sure to inform your elected officials you will throw them out of office if they continue to sell you out to bank lobbyists as they did when they voted to kill Glass-Steagall!
• If you have further suggestions as to how we can give our TSTB banks a proper sendoff, please note them in the Comments section below.
Just in case your elected officials think you are joking about kicking them to the curb, tell them to read this recent Financial Times article: "On the brink of a new age of rage". Please don't take your sweet freedom for granted. You must fight for it or before you know it your loved ones will be dancing on your coffin!
Note: Dr. Paul Wilmott of the Certificate of Quantitative Finance Programme (CQF) in London invited me to join his team of bloggers. Dr. Wilmott's current team includes serious heavyweights from the world of academia, finance, derivatives, trading and financial engineering - Dr. Nassim Taleb, Dr. Emanuel Derman, Dr. Satyajit Das, etc. These men have also made correct predictions about the economy, derivatives and the global economic recession. So please be sure to visit me over at my new wilmott.com blog. Thanks!