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“What’s a bank?” said the EAGLE. “To me it means tilting as I fly, prior to turning.”
“Lucky you,” said CUCKOO. “To me, a bank today is a sort of a cross between an extortionist and a professional gambler – with morals to match.”
“But everyone says we need them,” said EAGLE. “Or the country will collapse; and fire and brimstone will rein from the sky.”
“Who’s everybody?” said CUCKOO.
“The banks,” said EAGLE, and blushed. “And the Chamber of Commerce.”
“Never seen an EAGLE blush before,” said CUCKOO. “Nor a banker, now I think about it. Such people seem to lack conscience, morals, personality and shame.”
“But they control everything,” said EAGLE. “So we have to bail them out. And we do that every few years; and then they go back to their same old ways.”
“No we don’t,” said CUCKOO. “You do because you don’t know enough and you’re afraid. But ignorance is not a good enough reason. Besides, there are alternatives. Look at what the Swedes did in the early Nineties. Faced with a similar crisis, they didn’t bale the buggers out. They seized the banks, changed the managements, let the bondholders and shareholders lose everything, traded the banks back into profit, and then sold them on – at a profit in a couple of years. Some would call it capitalism in action.”
“But surely no one would have ever lent to the Swedes again?” said EAGLE. “And of course their economy crumbled.”
“Last I checked, the Swedish economy grew at 7.3 percent,” said CUCKOO, “which is just about the highest rate in the developed world. Thy have been one of the most successful economies for decades; and they have one of the most contented populations. And their unemployment is significantly lower than that of the U.S. and their unemployment benefits vastly better.”
“But, on top of everything else, they’re socialist,” said EAGLE. “Of course, I don’t know what that means, but everyone tells me that’s bad.”
“You need to stop listening to everyone,” said CUCKOO. “And throw labels out the window. They’re being used to scare you; and it’s working.”
EAGLE stood tall and proud. “That’s cuckoo,” he said and flew away. But he came back soon.
“Nice exit,” said CUCKOO. “And not a bad landing.”
EAGLE blushed again. “I have a question,” he said. “And its VERY IMPORTANT!”