Watched 'Wonderful Life' a couple nights ago. Must be the 14,319th time I've seen it. Good every time.
Mr Potter and George Bailey are icons, and commentators use them in various ways ... Conservatives seem to enjoy associating themselves with Mr Potter, saying that raw feral capitalism is the source of riches for everyone. Rush has come to resemble Mr Potter remarkably, with his 10-foot-long Premium Premium Premium Corona Corona Corona Cigars and his contemptuous attitude toward everyone who is not Rush. "You miserable little losers only continue to exist because you aren't important enough for me to destroy you." And in 2008 as in 1930, raw feral capitalism has managed to destroy nearly everyone, even some of the rich. (Such as those exquisitely deserving
Expert Idiots who fell for the Madoff scheme and lost their silk shirts!)
Watching the movie this year, I came to a new realization. We have skidded into a bizarre planet where the Potter/Bailey difference is no longer relevant. From this distance, Potter and Bailey appear nearly identical. Both were personal
bankers, looking their customers in the eye and judging worthiness for loans based on actual knowledge
of the customers. Of course they used different standards of judgment, which made them proper competitors serving different parts of the Bedford Falls community. But both of them had
standards, and both were motivated to serve their own customers. Neither would have touched the modern Sushi Loan, the tossed salad of uncooked mortgage bits. Both would have recognized this 'financial instrument' as an absolute fraud.
We still have local bankers of the Potter/Bailey type, but they will be destroyed along with everyone else as Shotgun Paulson flies his fleet of private jets, laden with the treasures of a formerly great nation, to his own little Arab hideaway.