01 April 2008

“They put too much flour in the coke and got the nerve to wonder why they're broke”

In the early days of banking, bankers were a lot like drug dealers. They told the potential customers, “My shit’s the best, man, it’ll really do the job for you.” The customers told themselves, “This guy’s dressed nicely, he’s smooth, he must have the goods.”

So they bought some of his shit and they took it home. They smoked it down, they shot it up or they put it into their portfolio, and then they waited. And waited. And nothing happened. They weren’t getting high. They weren’t getting rich. Sometimes they even got a headache or, if they were really unlucky, they got some really bad shit that killed them. That was the nature of the beast.

It was like the bankers were packaging up little dime bags of flour and telling the customers that it was high-grade cocaine. The customers didn’t care, because they never tried it and didn’t know what it was. And there was always some bigger fool that was willing to pay them even more for their little bags of flour than they’d paid themselves. Then one day some random guy tried snorting up some of the flour and he realised it wasn’t cocaine at all. He realised it was crap. He sold his little bags of flour and told two friends what he’d figured out. Each of them, in turn, called their dealers and sold their bags of flour, and told two more friends about what was going on. Before long, everybody was trying to sell their flour and nobody wanted to buy it anymore.

Bankers still sell all kinds of bad shit to the public. The bad shit goes by a million different names like a chameleon does because people forget and people will look for that high again. They’ll reach for the hot stove even though they know last time they got burnt. They think this time will be different and sometimes, sure, it is. They’ll buy the bag of flour thinking its coke. They’ll smoke it, shoot it up and stick it in their portfolio, and then they’ll wait. And wait. And nothing will happen and it’ll start all over again.

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