Saving private (banker) Ryan
Meet my mate Ryan.
Ryan is a private banker…. sorry Ryan was a banker. Because Ryan did wrong.
Ryan lost a lot of money from (extremely rich) people when he invested their money in high risk/high return investments such as CDO (commonly known as “Collateralized Debt Obligation”. Not). Investments that proved to be very risky and returning at the end nothing more than a lot of trouble. For Ryan’s customers and finally also for Ryan’s bank. Ryan’s bank went bankrupt.
Bye Bye Bank and Bye Bye to Banker Ryan!
Many banks went almost bankrupt in the same way.
And just like in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Saving Private Ryan”, a group of rescuers was sent out: other bankers (through a banking tax), government (by buying banks in trouble and providing loans), tax payers (through governments cutting their spending because they were rescuing Ryan) and suppliers to Ryan (banks started to cut costs and projects).
They all went out and saved private banker Ryan.
Now what shall we do with Ryan?
Ryan will be blamed for the next 10 years for all the money he cost them.
The people continue to scream that Ryan should be shaven, just like people shaved off the hair of traitors after World War II to publicly humiliate them .
Shave! Shave ! Save?
My question is: “should we shave or …. should we save now”?
Most people say : SHAVE.
I tend to say: SAVE !
Well because from an purely economic perspective, there was NO alternative. Failing to save the financial system would have brought gigantic harm to the economy, meaning that we all would have lost much more money.
Those are the negative reasons for saving Ryan.
I see also a positive reason. A positive political reason that hasn’t been mentioned in the public debate concerning the financial crisis.
The doom scenario of a total collapse of our economic system, had the positive side effect of creating a sense of urgency. A sense of urgency that was missing with most governments and with most people. A sense of urgency that drastic economic and political changes had to be made NOW in order to save society in a relatively short period of time.
Saving Private Ryan led to (a start of) drastic changes in early retirement, government spending, new incentive systems to work and work longer.. Many changes that should have been implemented long time ago, but only got a high priority since Ryan screwed up.
In 20 years from now, when we look back at this period, I’m sure that we’re all happy that we saved private banker Ryan. Saved and not shaved.
Maybe we will then conclude that our society was saved … thanks to Ryan.. and not shaved because of Ryan…
My name is Ronnie, not Ryan.
If your name is not Ryan, what can you take away from this little story (maybe a little bit dramatized but true story)????
Well, even if you disagree with my opinion, use the technique of “What’s the positive side of this negative experience ” in your work place. It helped me in many occasions to put negative experience into (another) perspective and to learn from that experience (“What should I be doing next time ?”). I think it’s a great technique to keep having fun at work. Not occasionally. But usually. That’s what the world of Annie is all about!