EP: NYC – Lost in the populist uproar over securing consumer’s rights, a group of bankers in NYC have formed a new association called Human Rights for Bankers (HRB). HRB is currently lobbying congress for the establishment of a new federal agency that will protect the basic rights of bankers from growing populist outrage. “We have all the same problems as every else” says Evan Kurtz, one of the founding members of the group, “while most of us are divorced and don’t have normal families, we do have hefty alimony payments. We have multiple car payments and a lot of us are covering a second mortgage on vacation homes” he explained. “It is totally unfair that consumers would be afforded a protection agency while bankers are left out in the cold. We are human beings like anyone else, if you prick us do we not bleed?.” Kurtz was referring to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the proposed Federal agency at the center of the Obama administration’s attempt to reform the financial system.
HRB claims that anger over bonuses for bankers in the wake of the recent financial crisis has created a hostile climate towards the group that requires immediate government intervention. “America has a history of demonizing minorities, and given the scary level of rhetoric that we see on the blogs and the airwaves, I really feel like we need to address this situation before it escalates” said James Worthington III, from his Westchester estate several miles outside Manhattan. Worthington is a senior vice president with Citibank and has golfed with President Obama on numerous occasions. “It is not much different than what the Blacks, Jews and other ethnic types experienced, this kind of hate-filled rhetoric knows no color. We need to confront this kind of demonization directly.” he added.
However, not all agree that bankers require a new agency to ensure their rights. “This is complete nonsense” argues Andrew Smith, a consumer advocate and proponent of a new Consumer Protection Agency, “if these people get this through Congress we all might as well adopt banking practices from Nigerian email scams. Its really no different at this point.”
Kurtz dismissed such concerns. “There will always be a fringe communist groups who want to abolish our market economy” he explained. Far more concerned with getting his organization off the ground, he went right back into articulating why there needs to be a banker’s rights movement. “We need our human rights secured, including our right to be paid bonuses according to market rates and our right to be free of threatening hate speech. I mean the way words like ‘greedy’ and ‘opportunistic’ are thrown around, its as if we are in 1960’s Mobile, Alabama.” The HRB is also lobbying congress to ban all “hate speech” directed towards bankers, loosely defined as any speech that could incite violence against the banking community or diminish their profits.
Max Baucus, a democratic senator for Minnesota, believes that its important to protect minority rights and is firmly behind the banker’s movement. “Was it not Jefferson who said something about not being held hostage to the tyranny of the majority? We need to make sure all our citizens are protected” argued the senator, who was the keynote speaker at the most recent National Mortgage Banker’s annual convention.