Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Do You Know Who Has Your Money?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Do You Know Who Has Your Money?

Article excerpt

IN all literature there is nothing more adroitly composed than the self-laudatory prose of a bank's radio commercials. Exuding pious and confident honesty, they make the money-bag rascals sound like the Beatitudes and suggest the world has no better boon than 18 1/2 percent after 30 days. Then, after exalting the banker to dizzying heights, the commercials always terminate their mellifluous appeal with the words, "Member FDIC." Moliere, on his best day, never turned out comedy like that.

This means simply that your banker, just extolled as a paragon of virtue, may be a crook. Although sanctified into the front row of the celestial choir, he bears watching, and if he rifles your purse the government has him insured and you need not despair. If this sounds harsh, I speak as a lover of well-carpentered scrivening and want merely to bring the highfalutin verbiage down to what it means.

I am appalled, while meditating on this, at the great number of banks I have known in my time, most of them the same bank after mergers and sales and consortiums, that did not fetch forth kindly bankers to grasp my hand in warm fellowship and urge me to come in and enjoy their jovial company and their friendly services. Mostly, somebody would look up and shudder at the thought I might be needing money.

I did once - years ago - approach Mr. McFarland, our home-town banker, to explain to him discreetly that some unexpected liabilities had accrued, and I could use a few dollars to tide me over until I got the check on my W.T. Grant shares. Mr. McFarland, who was very much before the days of our current bankers, seemed not to hear me, but suggested we descend to the bank's basement and shoot some pool. The bank owned the only pool table in town, and Mr. McFarland was the house champ. I held the guest's cueidly while he ran off a string or two, and then he said he guessed the bank could take a chance. He let me have $150 for 90 days.

In about a month, Sim Coombs drove his horse into my dooryard on his way to the village, and I gave Sim $150 plus interest, to give to Mr. McFarland, which he did. Funny thing happened. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.