From the Left



The Banks, St. Patrick and the Deregulation Shuffle

Marc Munroe Dion on

In the olden times, which my mother remembered very well, near the beginning of the last century, Irish Americans celebrated St. Patrick's Day by going to Mass and wearing a little bit of green, a ribbon on the lapel perhaps.

This was religious and boring.

In response, city governments, beer companies and makers of plastic green derby hats "deregulated" St. Patrick's Day so that it is now a riot of drunken vomiting, off-key Irish bands and green beer.

Prying St. Patrick's Day out of the hands of the priests and the ethnic Irish allowed the deregulated holiday to become a leering, drunken parody of what it is to be Irish. Essentially St. Patrick's Day is Passover for Irish Americans, except hardly anyone ever throws up on you at a Passover dinner

But what the O'Hell! The Chinese companies who make the "Kiss Me I'm Irish" T-shirts are making tons of money, as is everyone else involved in the con, so all is well.

In other words, some things need a little regulation.


Banking used to be one of the most boring businesses imaginable, as were electric companies and gas companies. My mother was hired by a bank in 1962. Her job did not involve handling money, but bank management told her that, if she was ever seen at the local horse track, she'd be fired. The bank didn't want people to see her and think she was gambling with their money.

It didn't make much difference to Mom. She didn't gamble, and Pop bet with a bookie. But it was at least a grab at business sobriety.

Donald Trump, whose endless belief in other rich white people is really quite touching, removed some "excessive regulations" from the banking industry, and the expected thing happened.

The bankers loosened their neckties, snorted some lines of credit and took walloping big risks with other people's money. Normally a timid species, bankers get very brave when it's not their money.


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John Cole Joel Pett Al Goodwyn Kirk Walters John Darkow Bart van Leeuwen