By James Kwak
I wanted to bring your attention to a new blog that could turn out to be very important. It’s called The Fourteenth Banker (here’s why) and it’s hosted and written by a current banker who wants to see real change in the industry. This is from the About page:
“Despite being with a big bank, I support reform legislation ending TBTF, separation of Commercial and Investment banking, an independent consumer protection agency and other meaningful reforms. Why? I have seen first hand the perversions that happen because of some who believe that the an institution exists for them and the stockholders primarily. Countless others have been hypnotized by this illusion as well. Free market idealism is conveniently permissive of unbridled self interest. I believe in the free market. In fact, this blog is a free market of ideas and is meant to lead to a free market in banking where institutions self police as a matter of competitiveness. I have hopes of a free market where being in community in a responsible and consistent way is the path to prosperity, a free market where we recognize that if we take care of the community, the community will take care of us. It takes a sort of faith. Or does it? Is not all successful business enterprise based on providing more value than is consumed?
“That is why we are here. I invite other bankers to engage in discussion about issues and excesses in our industry and possible solutions.”
The goal of the blog is to provide a forum for people within the industry who are dissatisfied with both its behavior over the past decade and its stubborn refusal to change its ways in the wake of the financial crisis. Posts include coverage of misdeeds by the financial sector, as well as an inside perspective on issues such as breaking up banks.
Banks are very large organizations that include many different people with different political, moral, and business ideas. I am sure there are many bankers who are upset with the way their companies have taken advantage of customers, investors, creditors, and taxpayers, and who want the industry to change. However, many banks have attempted to suppress any attempt at real dialogue by issuing blanket gag orders for their employees. The Fourteenth Banker could help make it possible for bankers to engage in that debate.