The Banksgiving Day Video

The Motley Fool is celebrating the Banksgiving season with this tongue-in-cheek series skewering the worst banking offenses. Check it all out by clicking here.

To properly celebrate this Banksgiving season, we Fools are taking a step back into yesteryear -- and by yesteryear, we mean last year.

Thanks to the banks, times are tough. So we've gone low-tech and made a video whose quality would make a B-movie director shudder.

We stick to three of the more satirical (or is that Satanic?) elements of the crisis:

1. A look at one of the guys approving all those crazy mortgages.
2. The Behind the Music of one of the big bank mergers.
3. A fly-on-the-wall view of the original government bailout of the big banks.

We'll spare you the gory details of the financial crisis, since you've heard it all before. (But if you need a refresher, we've provided one beneath the video). And with that, we wish you a happy, gizzard-in-cheek Banksgiving. Enjoy the video!

The 1-minute financial-crisis primer
Throughout most of the 2000s, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates low, and home prices shot through the roof. Not satisfied with just the low rates, lenders offered exotic stuff* such as ARMs, liar loans, balloon payments, and pick-a-payment options to ever-lower-quality borrowers. This stuff* was then securitized with the help of Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM  ) , Freddie Mac, and Wall Street and overrated by Moody's (NYSE: MCO  ) , S&P, and Fitch; meanwhile, 30-to-1 banking leverage and derivatives such as credit default swaps upped the risk-taking.

No worries, as long as housing prices continued to rise.


As with all bubbles, the music stopped and the stuff* hit the fan. Housing prices plummeted, credit went dry, and everyone was scared stuff*-less. The term "run on a bank" was no longer a quaint Great Depression expression. To quell the panic, the government stepped in with bailouts, stimulus packages, and bank consolidations, so that Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) , and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) all went from "too big to fail" to "too gargantuan to fail."

Yet from the golden boy (Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) ) to the whipping boy (Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) ), the end result for Wall Street seems to be same stuff*, different bubble.

The video above focuses on the lenders, one of the bank consolidations (Bank of America and Merrill Lynch), and the bank bailouts.  

Ready for seconds? After you’ve forwarded our video to your friends, check out the rest of our Banksgiving content by clicking here!

Anand Chokkavelu owns shares of Citigroup and other stuff* but no other stock mentioned in this article. Moody's is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended selling puts on Moody's. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

*stuff = um, something else.

Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (43)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 25, 2009, at 6:28 PM, TMFEditorsDesk wrote:

    In case you can't read the music credits at the end of the video, the song is "Walk Around the World" by Fade to Blue. Their website is

    -Anand Chokkavelu (TMFBomb)

  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2009, at 8:55 AM, TMFKaren wrote:

    Loved this!!!! :-)))))

    Happy Banksgiving!

  • Report this Comment On November 27, 2009, at 4:08 PM, Wallago wrote:

    Worth watching just for the "money I could be taking from the government" joke! Laugh. Out. Loud.

  • Report this Comment On November 28, 2009, at 3:49 PM, henryking54 wrote:

    The sound quality is really poor. I couldn't hear anything clearly.

    Waste of my time.

    Are the people in this video in high school? They seem really childish.

  • Report this Comment On November 29, 2009, at 11:39 AM, TMFBrich wrote:


    Sorry you didn't enjoy it. Re: the quality ... it's something we were aware of. From the article above:

    <<Thanks to the banks, times are tough. So we've gone low-tech and made a video whose quality would make a B-movie director shudder.>>

    We had limited resources. For future productions, I believe we'll be able to improve the sound quality, etc.


    Brian Richards

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2012, at 12:53 PM, TMFRhino wrote:

    As timeless as ever!

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2012, at 12:54 PM, TMFBWItime wrote:

    That approved and done guy as a sleeze ball.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2012, at 12:57 PM, TMFTheDude wrote:

    Can't wait until next Banksgiving!!!

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