Ariana Huffington and some of her advisers are attempting to bring in the troops and put the hurt on big, arrogant banks and their leaders and I've been thinking about whether I ought to go along for nearly a day now.
I think I will. To begin with, the big banks don't really have much to do with us on the level where I deal. They would tend to laugh at a guy like me coming in and, say, asking for a few bucks to start a regional magazine. Hahahahahahahahahaha ... Small community banks don't do that.
My experience was that a couple of local banks busted their collective and individual asses trying to find a way to come up with a justification to support my pardner Tom Field and me. Just about all we had was our experience and our reputations. We didn't even darken the door of, say, Wachovia because we weren't in the mood for comedy.
Community banks work for--guess what! Communities. They keep money flowing at home and they support small businesses, homeowners and the dreams of what Abe Lincoln would have called "the common man" (and I'll paraphrase Brother Dave Gardner here, about calling somebody "common" and watching his response). Big banks are big business, dealing in megabucks, big projects, big houses, big people.
Frankly, though, I think the point here isn't just a few banks that are too big for their britches. It's about so many things being so big that nobody has any control left. They are "too big to fail" and that's a level of self-immolation that we can't afford any longer. Local is good on so many levels and we need not so much to weaken the big jerks, but to strengthen institutions of a size that we can understand.