Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Way We Bankers Think

Bankers seem to be making headlines these days. Two of my closest friends are seriously senior bankers _and very wealthy. Lovely people. Other bankers I know are rank and file and all stages in between. They are a mixed lot, like people generally. I've met some real shits, too. One was a bloke who was "supervising" a loan my company had taken in order to buy copyrights - some years ago, before Dramatico records took off. We so much hated his style of supervision that I just went and got a huge advance from my publisher and paid them off. That got him off my back and frankly if I never see him again it will be too soon. The guy used to say I had "over-borrowed" even though he got his interest payments on the button every month. Later when his own bank nearly went under - last year - and was hugely bailed out by, well - us, as taxpayers, I wrote him a note reminding him of our history and telling him I thought his bank had "over-borrowed". It was one of those letters we all write but don't actually send, A Cathartic experience, I think they call it. So I didn't press "send". I did enjoy writing it though.

I remember my first banker was a man called Skinner. I was 20 and Head Of A&R at Liberty/United Artists Records. He was Senior Manager at Midland Bank (Now HSBC) - Old Bond Street branch, near where I worked. He said he's happily lend me 700 quid to buy a van or something "useful" for my business (erm, I wasn't IN the delivery business!) - but wouldn't lend me the identical amount to but a beach buggy (more appropriate I thought, to my job, and incidentally better for "pulling"). I changed banks immediately. You do meet some tossers, don't you?

The song lyrics below were written to be sung by The Banker in my adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting Of The Snark". THe Bellman is recruiting crew, and when asked if he'll join up, the Banker responds with this song. It's based on the idea that bankers often like to be the last into any deal, and - to protect their risk - the first to receive payments when and if the project is a success. Last in, first out.


I'd love to come along if I could
But I must behave as a banker should
The last aboard I must surely be
But if we sink in a stormy sea
The first to the lifeboats will be ME
It's the way we bankers think!

(There are also verses for the barrister and the broker)

By the way, we are doing two performances in London - of the costumed concert version of "Snark" - in late November. It's only a small concert Hall so keep your eyes open for the announcement. I'm not allowed to announce it properly yet. In the meantime I'm doing a solo concert at the Cadogan Hall on May 24th . I think this is the link: so maybe see you there? I expect I'll do a few Snark songs.

Good luck to Barrack Obama in his stand against Wall Street excesses, by the way. Let's get real! There's greed and there's Greed.



1 comment:

  1. to them i say they have already received their reward.