If the banks ran their operations more like the Mafia, the world might be a nicer place. As it is, though, the banks run things like this.

But imagine how the Mafia would handle a situation like this . . .

Scene: a private dining room in a nice family-run Italian restaurant, where Fingers is eating with Don Bankster.

Don Bankster: Fingers, how long have you been working for The Family?

Fingers: Many years, Don Bankster — many very happy years.

Don Bankster: And these days you do what, exactly, to support The Family Business?

Fingers: (smiling) I, ah, encourage local businesses to invest in the security services that we provide.

Don Bankster: Ah, yes. They pay us to see that their property remains undamaged.

Fingers: That’s it.

Don Bankster: And if they fall behind in their payments . . . how to put this? . . . Fingers puts the squeeze on them?

Fingers: (grinning) You could say that.

Don Bankster: (not grinning at all) I’m disappointed to hear that, Fingers. It seems we have a problem, and I was hoping it was that you didn’t understand your job.

Fingers: (beginning to get nervous) Excuse me?

Don Bankster: I’ve been getting some calls, and it appears that you’ve been putting the squeeze on people who *have* made their payments. Word has it you’re also trying to make a little extra on the side as well.

Fingers: (tugging on his suddenly tight collar) Work on the side? Never! But mistakes? Well, perhaps I may have made a mistake here or there. But everyone protests that they’ve made their payments or they’ll get it to us next week or some other nonsense. How was I to know?

Don Bankster: Fingers, Fingers, Fingers. It’s your business to know. That’s why I was asking if you understood your job. Now it seems the only explanation is that you’re not very good at it.

Fingers: (now very nervous indeed) Don Bankster . . .

Don Bankster: (cutting him off and continuing quietly) Fingers, it’s not just that you have screwed things up for yourself. You’ve made The Family look bad. You’ve made me look bad. I’ve had to apologize to a number of longtime investors.

Fingers: (tries to speak, but nothing comes out)

Don Bankster: I don’t like having to apologize for the mistakes of my subordinates. I do not like that at all. Not. One. Bit.

Fingers: (still trying to speak, and still nothing comes out)

Don Bankster looks past Fingers to the doorway, in which stands a very large, very well armed man.

Don Bankster: Ah, Luigi. Perhaps you could help Fingers here with a little bit of continuing professional education, so as to help improve his future performance.

Fingers: Don Bankster, that won’t be necessary . . .

Don Bankster: (coldly) Yes, Fingers, it will. You have disrespected me, you have disrespected your colleagues, and you have disrespected The Family in the eyes of the community.

Don Bankster motions Luigi to come into the room.

Don Bankster: Respect must be paid, Fingers. Respect must be paid.

But no. Instead of Don Bankster, we’ve got Jamie Dimon, Bryan Moynihan, John Stumpf, and the rest of the Wall Street Banksters who make the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight looks like frickin’ geniuses.


Photo by Lucia Restaurant and used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Please do not assume that because this photo illustrates this post, Don Bankster dines at Lucia. But the picture does look like the kind of private table he might enjoy. Or so I’ve been told.