The Fourteenth Banker Blog

April 8, 2010

a little history….from 1555

Filed under: Running Commentary — thefourteenthbanker @ 3:46 AM

Have you notice that whenever someone asks a President what he reads, he always refers to history, and not to management books?    Maybe we bankers should do more of the same.     History books did not create this crisis.     Management books, well….

13 Bankers is a history book, some very recent, some not.    I hope all have ordered it by now.    It will steel your resolve.

Please see Naked Capitalism and you will see that the tide seems to be shifting.     The water is rising behind the dam.    This is a great summary by Washington’s Blog as a guest poster.     Our new blog is getting a lot of attention.     Which causes me to ask, what is the best contribution we together can make?     I will try to steer the conversation in some directions that will be useful to policymakers.    Our experience is needed.   Our country calls for it.     Please share this blog with other bankers that would have useful comments to add.

All this surprising momentum calls to mind a little history from 16 October 1555.     These were somber times, and the occasion more somber still.      Two heretics of sorts were being taken to the stake.    (a fate I hope to avoid)    Hugh Latimer, then on the outs with the Crown, said to his companion, “Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.

Perhaps our little candle can help usher in a better age.



  1. As much as I support writing and talking about the problems of our banking system, and for creating a forum for insiders to share ideas, ultimately, I think that we as (subversive) insiders need to form a plan of action and execute it.

    Talk and writing is ultimately not enough. Look at the WSJ editorial page as an example. As off-base as they can be on some matters, for twenty years they were spot on in predicting that Fannie and Freddie represented massive systematic and taxpayer risk. What impact did they have? None. Neither this blog nor any other has the platform of the WSJ. So writing is just not enough to have a meaningful impact. There needs to be a plan of action, and it needs to be executed, from the inside.

    What is that plan? I don’t know yet. I am here because, together, I am hoping we can come up with some ideas. One thing I do know, however, is that subversion of the status quo from within is the one threat that the people running the financial system aren’t guarding against. The one attack that is never expected is the one that the attacked party views as contrary to the self interest of the attacker. A foundation of finance is the assumption that everyone acts in their own narrow self interest. An attack would never be expected by insiders motivated by the public interest to stop the river of money that flows to insiders for little reason. That’s why it could work.

    Comment by Curious — April 9, 2010 @ 10:58 AM | Reply

    • Keep coming back

      Comment by thefourteenthbanker — April 9, 2010 @ 7:03 PM | Reply

    • I agree that this one week old blog will need to evolve, clarify its purpose, and work to achieve something real. I would suggest that readers go through all the posts and comments because there are real jewels in the comments. Our employers are not our enemies. Some individuals may be enemies of sorts. But to work to challenge an organization or a system is not an “attack”, though it might be perceived as one. That is in the mind of the beholder. It is not in my mind. Changing the form of an organization is not an attack. Changing the culture of an organization is not an attack. Recognizing what is real, dealing with it, and improving it is a constructive process.

      In fact, if we ever get any attention from a big bank, their strategy will probably be to marginalize us as extremists. I have read the comments. We are not extremists, we are passionate.

      Comment by thefourteenthbanker — April 10, 2010 @ 12:13 AM | Reply

  2. Light a candle to usher in a better age? Nah. How about a shine a spotlight that illuminates all of the Wall Street scum and exposes them for the Financial Terrorists that they really are.

    Wall Street is nothing more than a rigged casino. In technical terms this new business model is ‘Rigged Market Capitalism’. The entire US Economy has been co-opted by Financial Terrorists who perpetrate their Ponzi scheme to rob Americans of their wealth.

    High frequency trading is market manipulation at its finest. Goldman Sachs control the planet and steal wealth at will.

    Timothy Gangster has co-opted the White House and the Obama Puppet is none the wiser.

    Americans needs to take their country back by saying no to the left-right paradigm. Democrats and Republicans are one in the same, all controlled by the Financial Terrorists. When people awake to this reality, they are on the path to enlightenment.

    We all submit to Homeland Insecurity and their Gestapo tactics. Why? Why are we living in a constant state of fear? The country has been raped an pillaged and most people are saying “Thank you sir. May I have some more.” Idiots!

    Google “Fall of the Republic” and watch the movie. Heck with it…I will save you the trouble:

    WAKE UP AMERICA! Your country is under siege!

    Comment by The Mad Ape — April 14, 2010 @ 9:20 PM | Reply

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