Ask Dr. Sinisterion
(Because I am buried working on Of Limited Loyalty, the sequel to At The Queen’s Command, I don’t have as much time to blog as I might like. Fortunately enough, I have a guest blogger who is willing to provide you insights about the world from a decidedly and distinctly unique point of view. He’s agreed to cover me once a week for the foreseeable future. Please join me in welcoming Doctor Sinisterion.—Mike Stackpole)
Doctor Sinisterion (D. D.), is the author of the recent book If I Was A Supervillain. Having retired after a long career as a spiritual consultant and entrepreneur, he took time to study many of the great criminal enterprises of our time, and offers his critique of them in his book. Critics, who have maintained that Sinisterion was a well-known criminal mastermind, have suggested the book is merely an exercise in revisionist history. Though Sinisterion was once incarcerated on a variety of fraud charges, he has maintained his innocence and has remained free for over thirty years. He is currently a citizen of the Central American nation of Santiago, but considers himself a free man of the world.
Dear Doctor Sinisterion,
Are the big banks truly too big to fail? If you ran the economy, what would you do to fix things?
Yes, the banks are too big to fail.
Much in the same way the Titanic was too big to sink.
What was Congress thinking in removing laws governing a banker’s conduct? They made it all so easy. Honest criminals spend a lifetime trying to skirt laws. Removing the restraints from rapaciously greedy moneylenders was the moral equivalent to giving a sixteen year old boy a bottle of tequila and the keys to a Corvette. Why would one be surprised by the resultant crash?
This is the difference in dealing with honest criminals versus bankers. If a lifter picks your pocket, or an alley-basher mugs you or a bully steals your milk-money, they’re easy to hate. No ambiguity to their crime. They stole from you. But when a banker runs his business into the ground, frightens you into believing that his stupidity could cause a global economic meltdown, and has the government take money from you, to give to the bankers, so the bankers can give it to other businesses who turn around and employ you, blame never comes to rest in the right place. Bankers lit the house on fire, and now want credit for calling the firemen who saved you. What’s wrong with that picture?
What offends me most about this whole situation is the purely amateurish manner in which bankers followed their greed. Their conduct was beneath that one would expect of minions recruited from the ranks of the dead. I shudder to think that they were the best and brightest of their class—and the logic of retention bonuses to maintain their services would suggest it is a wise idea to hire burglars to straighten up your house.
More specifically, were I a supervillain and were I behind the bank meltdowns, I would not have squandered my vast wealth on absurdities such as million dollar office remodeling or hiring has-been bands to play at private parties. (Rather trailer-trash behavior, despite the bling.) I would have cornered the market on gold. I would have welcomed—nay, hastened—the inevitable economic collapse. I would have become the embodiment of the Golden Rule: I would have the gold, so I would make the rules.
As for punishments to be meted out to those involved in pillaging the world economy, I would suggest downsizing—downsizing with extreme prejudice. (I still feel all warm and fuzzy when fondly thinking on those golden days ere I coined that term. What ever did become of that wonderful Nixon fellow?) Just because we didn’t let the banks fail, doesn’t mean the same needs be true of the bankers.
(If you have questions for Doctor Sinisterion, please mail them to Sinisterion at stormwolf.com or leave them in the comments below. Doctor Sinisterion regrets that he will not be able to critique your plans for world conquest, but he is always open to consulting on same. If you wish to know more about Sinisterion, you can read about him in In Hero Years… I’m Dead, a novel which Sinisterion insists is a complete and utter fabrication.)
In Hero Years… I’m Dead comes in two editions. The basic edition costs $5 and contains just the novel. the Deluxe Edition includes a long essay about the process of the writing and the genesis of the ideas. These two links will take you to my store where you can buy the epub format which works on Sony readers, the iPad and the Nook.