Bankers and the Bourgeois Virtues

At the Library of Law and Liberty, Dalrymple recounts his personal experience with banks and questions the fairness of their practices but then asks himself if he should really care one way or the other:

The world is what it has always been, a wicked place, and it is as well not to get too worked up about it, at least if you want a life that is anything other than wretched. And the fact is that, so far, my life has not been one jot or tittle the happier or the more miserable for the minor defalcations of banks in my regard. Luckily I am so small that I am not even worth swindling in a large way.

However, the recent events in Cyprus, with the scheme to expropriate a proportion of the depositors’ cash, might change this, if such expropriation becomes the wave of the future, as it might.

Read it here

4 thoughts on “Bankers and the Bourgeois Virtues

  1. Jaxon

    “In fact it was not so credited for a period of ten days: and I had fondly thought that we lived in the age of instantaneous electronic transfer!”

    I’ve read Dalrymple refer to this some two or three times, never really being one to transfer money I’d never previously considered it. However some months back I was talking to a gentleman at one of my banks, and he did seem to be a reasonably straight up gentleman. He seemed also to know his stuff… where I’m shamefully ignorant about such matters he was quite happy to enlighten me and I was duly attentive and appreciative.

    On the issue of money transfer I thought I’d try out Dalrymple’s suspicion, as it were. He was a little taken aback by the change of enquiry, not least the tone; this is an area (potential, if in the scheme of things not so serious, dishonest conduct) where I feel more enlightened and therefore more assertive – he began to falter and squirm a bit.

    He basically claimed (I daresay fairly plausibly) ignorance but he did manage to go on to suggest, also quite plausibly I suppose, and fairly obvious, that it just took time to confirm the integrity of the transaction, namely of the other bank. I’m not really so convinced and that was fairly obvious to him. I smiled and reassured him that I don’t expect him really to know (maybe he should though), and either way I wasn’t imputing that he was personally complicit.

    I don’t like seeing people squirm, I don’t like confrontation and frankly I just save my energy for people who I really do think are complicit, pull the strings etc.

  2. Monday Books

    Actually, I think he’s slightly out of date on this. We receive monthly payments from iTunes and Amazon (for eBooks sold in the US – thanks to our American customers) and these go straight into our account with no delay.

    (We are dealing in the thousands of dollars, not hundreds of thousands or millions, so I’m not sure what would happen with larger payments; there might be more delay and scrutiny to check for money laundering, I suppose.)

    Until fairly recently, we were sent cheques, though, and the exchange rate always seemed to work out rather heavily in the bank’s favour.

  3. Jaxon

    “We are dealing in the thousands of dollars, not hundreds of thousands or millions”
    Well, that’ll teach you for publishing Dalrymple.


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