I never knew Gene Autry was talking about bankers when he recorded this song.
Short recap: The banking industry persuaded (bribed) lawmakers into relaxing rules and regulations that had kept them honest for the previous 50 years, allowing them to originate all kinds of highly profitable but also highly risky investments. After massive profits were skimmed off the top the scheme collapsed, and taxpayers had to step in and take on massive debt to bail them out.
Lawmakers said "never again!" and drafted new rules that put curbs on big banks. Of course the bankers fought back, wanting to keep their mega-profit machine up and running. They won. This was in the news this morning:
WASHINGTON-- Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. Instead, the lobbyists are helping to write it themselves.
One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month--over the objections of the Treasury Department--was essentially Citigroup's, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swaths of trades from new regulation.
In a sign of Wall Street's resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup's recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee's 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)
Remember last November when candidates told us if we would just vote for them, they'd get the government out of our lives? They double-crossed us. What they really meant was, "Vote for me and I'll give the bankers whatever they want." And we bought it. Sure, they'll let us fight over the social issues of the day, but if there's money involved, the bankers call the shots.
I think George Carlin was right:
Face it....the bankers own us, lock, stock, and barrel. We're trapped.