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Subprime Meltdown - It's all the fault of George Bailey.


Given the season and the Correntes' relentless investigation/snark of the Shitstorm - From
An article which points out that maybe Mr. Potter wasn't quite the bad guy after all, or as they put it:

But knowing what we know now, about the dangers of subprime mortgages and the virtues of disciplined bankers, perhaps it's time to reconsider the financial—if not the sentimental—lesson of It's a Wonderful Life. In short: Was George Bailey a reckless subprime lender? Was Henry Potter a sober, misunderstood businessman?

A fun holiday read

(For more snark and video h/t The Consumerist )

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badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

the article ignores that a) Ernie Bishop wasn't defaulting on his loan (and Potter was stealing money - Uncle Billy's misplaced deposit) - the quoted scene is just an expression of Potter's elitism - Ernie didn't deserve a loan because he was socially and economically beneath Potter, not because he couldn't make the payments. No doubt Potter played a few rounds of golf with Hank Paulson's father. And (b) the article ignores what 'Pottersville' looked like compared to Bedford Falls.

So yeah, if the article's author thinks Pottersville was a more ideal community then Bedford Falls, and if he thinks it's the inconvenience of all the 'little people' wanting a decent home and a decent life that's really the problem, than by all means Potter is right. Of course Potter would have also securitized all of the loans his bank issued, sliced and diced them six ways from Sunday into things like credit default swaps, and then taken the whole town down with him when his bank failed, but we wouldn't want reality to stand in the way of a clever piece of writing.

If you really want a Capra film that's closer to reality, Meet John Doe or Mr Smith Goes to Washington are a much more accurate reflection of the times. Except, maybe, for the happy endings.

Submitted by WRhouse on

and yes I do like Mr Smith Goes to Washington. This article just struck me as another way to try and influence people that it wasn't/isn't the now non-lending banking industry at fault, rather all those "bleeding heart Liberal lending policies" that got us into trouble.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

in the comments following the article that none of the commenters were falling for it - esp the last comment I read to the effect that "Mr Potter didn't have Liz to write his press releases for him" (she authored the article - I mistakenly said 'he' above).