The Phaserl


(Spanish) Banks Worse Than Pushers

by Don Quijones, Testosterone

Steppenwolf’s The Pusher exploded on to the counter-culture scene in 1968 and was chosen as the opening song for Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s 1969 cult movie Easy Rider (to listen to the track, click here). As its title suggests, the song is about drug dealers who aggressively “push” their often tainted wares on vulnerable and/or unsuspecting users. The pusherman “don’t care if you live or if you die,” the song goes.

Fast forward to today, and the pusherman problem is everywhere, with global networks of drug traffickers and pushers visiting untold misery upon the five continents. But this post is not about the drug business. It’s about the banking industry.

A Pusherman’s Paradise

In the last five years, myriad cases have come to light of too-big-to-fail banks knowingly offloading tainted products onto unsuspecting customers. They include products that are essentially designed to fail or whose contingent risks are never fully divulged to their buyers. Affectionately termed in the industry as “misselling,” this endemic practice is typically punished with a token fine representing just a tiny fraction of the total revenues generated by the fraud. 

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