Diamond Jim

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Diamond Jim: Would-Be, Too-Big-To-Fail Banker

Diamond Jim: The Ballad of a Would-Be, Too-Big-to-Fail Banker (PBS) Our favorite country-western money manager, Harvard-trained Nashville econo-crooner Merle Hazard, has collaborated with brilliant lyricist Marcy Shaffer to produce his slickest video to date: the tuneful tale of a would-be banker who travels to Charlotte, N.C., to meet up with a mogul of modern-day finance, "Diamond Jim."

"The Ballad of Diamond Jim" Lyrics
by Merle Hazard, Marcy Shaffer and Curtis Threadneedle

I was visiting Charlotte, a town I knew well.
The sunset was scarlet. I fell under its spell.
At the hotel bar, in the back of the place,
I saw a strangely familiar face:
Diamond Jim.

I knew Diamond Jim from accounts in the press.
He ran a New York bank with skill and finesse.
They say he had brains, but lacked a heart.
J.P. Morgan himself was only half as smart
As Diamond Jim.

Diamond Jim,
Diamond Jim.
Oh, oh, Diamond Jim.

Diamond Jim raised a toast, in a bankerly way,
To his massively outsized Wall Street pay.
"Our game is diseconomy of scale.
The key is to be too big to fail,"
Said Diamond Jim.

He mocked risk control, called it a sham.
He said there's no need when you have Uncle Sam.
I thought back to my days at the F.D.I.C.,
And I knew I'd need to confront this S.O.B.,
Diamond Jim.

So I said, "Diamond Jim, there's a problem to prevent.
Banks aren't safe with capital of just a few percent.
They need more like thirty percent, or higher.
That's what Simon Johnson has said they require,
Diamond Jim."


Diamond Jim, "Son, do you know who I am?"
I said, "You're Diamond Jim. And you know what's a scam?
The crime's not what's criminal. The crime is what's legal.
You'd be buyin' fewer diamonds if we still had Glass-Steagall,
Diamond Jim."

"Low blow!" he cried. "You're naive, and a fool.
You have thrown down the gauntlet. OK, let's duel!
There are weapons to use in these banking law cases.
Securities lawyers at thirty paces!"
Said Diamond Jim.

So at noon the next day, hired guns at our side,
We met, and let our corporate lawyers collide.
They fired their mouths off, a few times at least.
My counsel fell down, desisted, deceased,
Because of Diamond Jim.


"You lose," Diamond Jim said. "You could never win it."
With a scoff, he rode off, in a New York minute.
Well, at least I had tried. Yet, still, my heart sank.

I started to wonder: am I really a better man than Diamond Jim? Maybe not.
Because I had come to Charlotte to meet with investors, and to try to start up what
I hoped, deep down, would some day be my very own, high-paying, too-big-to-fail bank.

Oh, curse you, Diamond Jim!


About the New York General Assembly The New York General Assembly (The NYC General Assemby) is composed of dozens of groups working together to organize and set the vision for the #occupywallstreet movement. New York City General Assemblies are an open, participatory and horizontally organized process through which we are building the capacity to constitute ourselves in public as autonomous collective forces within and against the constant crises of our times. Please read the Principles of Solidarity working draft. To find out more about recent items presented at the General Assembly, please read the General Assembly minutes. Interested in starting your own General Assembly in your area? Here is a Quick Guide to starting a General Assembly from Takethesquare.net.

About Occupy Wall Street Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants. This #ows movement empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up. We want to see a general assembly in every backyard, on every street corner because we don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians to build a better society.

About OccupyWallStreet.org OccupyWallSt.org is the unofficial de facto online resource for the ongoing protests happening on Wall Street. We are an affinity group committed to doing technical support work for resistance movements. We are not affiliated with Adbusters, anonymous or any other organization.  Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future. Occupy Wall Street is a horizontally organized resistance movement employing the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to restore democracy in America. We use a tool known as a "people's assembly" to facilitate collective decision making in an open, participatory and non-binding manner. We call ours the NYC General Assembly and we welcome people from all colors, genders and beliefs to attend our daily assemblies. To learn more about how you can start a people's assembly to organize your local community to fight back against social injustice, please read this quick guide on group dynamics in people's assemblies.

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