Breaking Bad With Big Bank CEOs: How Bad Bank CEOs Use the Bystander Effect to Dupe Good People Into Working For Them
By JS Kim
This may become the most important article I’ve ever written. But whether it becomes that article or dwells in anonymity is up to you, the reader, and if you are willing to be a messenger of truth in our fight against insidious and criminal elements that have infiltrated our society and have now become accepted in our everyday lives as normal, when instead, we should be rejecting these elements wholeheartedly without question and without equivocation.
Usually when there is smoke, there is a good chance there is fire. A really good chance. Except if you work for the commercial banking industry. When there is smoke, deny, deny, deny is the meme for bank CEOs and this is how they have deceptively convinced thousands of good people around the world to turn away from their collective consciousness and “break bad” with them. The Money Masters have carefully studied psychology for centuries and have masterfully used their knowledge of a phenomenon called “the Bystander Effect” to keep not only thousands of global worker bees (that merely earn a tiny fraction of their own obscene salaries) obedient and ignorant of their crimes, but also thousands of mid-level executives as well. In fact, at times, these bank CEOs so masterfully wield “the Bystander Effect” to their advantage that they are able to even conjure up shocking support of their crimes from good people that they have employed. I know this to be true because I have spoken to many bank employees that defend the most egregious of their boss’s crimes, including blatant money laundering for the most violent of drug cartels and incredulously even defend their bank’s money laundering for terrorist cartels.
Today, it is much easier to write an article like this that exposes the truth about today’s modern banking system than it was just a mere five years ago due to the growing movement of people interested in learning the truth about our global banking system, and that is a good thing. I have seen the movement over the past eight years since I started writing this blog transform and grow from one that consisted of many close-minded people that wouldn’t even be willing to entertain the possibility that an article like this contains the truth into one that attracts more and more open-minded people that now actively seek the truth about what they can do to protect themselves from the massive crimes of the banking industry. Since there will always be bank employees that react with a strong, visceral gut emotional reaction to negative, unflattering truths disclosed about their industry, the critical point that one must understand before one continues reading this article if one is an employee of the banking industry is below.
Psychologists have long studied the strong tendency of people to react to negative revelations about an industry that employs them as a personal attack against their character. They have concluded that such revelations sting so deeply because no one wants to learn information that proves their employer is criminal, let alone consider the possibility that he or she may even be aiding and abetting a criminal activity or potentially massive crimes that harm humanity. Unless someone is a sociopath, it is the essence of human nature for a human being to believe that he or she is engaged in a career that provides positive benefits for society and is not engaging in unsavory, immoral behavior towards our customers.
However, if one is able to remove emotion from the equation and analyze any negative data presented about one’s industry on a purely rational and factual basis, then not only will it will be much easier to come to terms with any dark truths that exist about that industry, but studies undertaken by psychologists prove that such a person may actually be inclined not only to walk away from the industry but also to fight the corruption and fraud they uncover. Thus, if you are a good person still working within the banking industry, and I believe that there are many good people still working within the immoral banking industry, then I beg of you to please take the time to finish reading this one article. If you do, I promise that I will explain to you:
(1) The psychological basis behind your negative gut reaction to all of the negative news you hear about your industry that shuts down your desire to learn the truth: and
(2) The reasons why a “don’t tell me because I don’t want to know” attitude are not only ultimately self-defeating, but also bound to turn you into a catastrophic victim of bank fraud yourself sometime within the next few years.
By understanding a phenomenon called “the Bystander Effect”, you will be able to separate your emotions from facts and be able to successfully counter any initial negative gut reaction in an intelligent manner. Global bank fraud will eventually negatively affect everyone in the world to a very significant degree, and no one will be immune from the fallout, not even those employed at a bank today. If one takes the time to uncover the truth about the rampant fraud being executed by the bank industry, then one will understand the necessary steps that must be executed to protect your financial future and the future of your loved ones. With the massive price volatility of gold and silver artificially engineered by Central Bankers and their puppet bullion bank CEOs, sometimes the correct path in protecting one’s assets can be massively confusing if one does not take the time to understand the fraud of bank policies. Banks often commit fraud to purposely lead people astray and down the wrong path, a fact that only becomes clear “after the fact”, as was the case with hoards of people that purchased subprime mortgages sold to them by disreputable bankers. Central Banks are rigging markets as we speak to deceive investors into believing that the worst assets to own long-term are the most solid of all assets to own, and that the best assets to own long-term are the most unstable and worst to own. As a result of these Central Bank asset price rigging schemes, millions of people will be blindsided by the reversal of fortunes in the prices of these assets that are coming in the very near future. Consequently, avoidance of learning about bank fraud is a certain path to financial ruin in the next 2-3 years.
The Bystander Effect Greatly Obscures Bank Employees’ Understanding of the Dark, Immoral Nature of the Banking Industry Today
The primary reason that prevents banking industry employees from understanding the immorality of the fractional reserve banking system is a psychological phenomenon known as the Bystander Effect. If you are an employee of the banking industry, and if you possess the slightest desire to truly and objectively assess the industry for which you work, then I urge you to take 30 minutes out of your day to understand how the Bystander Effect works and how fractional reserve banking truly works. If you do, I believe that it will be impossible for you not to conclude that fractional reserve banking is a criminal, deceitful and wealth-destroying platform, and perhaps the greatest contributor to economic instability in existence today.
In the 1960s, Columbia University researchers, John Darley and Bibb Latané, conducted a now famous study of a phenomenon that they coined “the Bystander Effect” in which they sought to prove that people made their most important decisions by observing social cues of their peers and would not dissent from these cues if the majority of their peers conformed to a uniform “norm”. To test their thesis, Darley and Latané falsely informed subjects, the “marks”, that they were being recruited to take part in a study about the many problems that currently afflicted life in urban areas. They then placed their marks in a waiting room to complete a questionnaire. As the marks completed their given questionnaire, Darley and Latané pumped smoke into the room through the room’s air vents and observed the marks’ reactions. At the four-minute point of the experiment, Darley and Latané ensured that they had pumped enough smoke into the room to interfere with both the breathing and vision of their marks.
Darley and Latané performed this above experiment under two markedly different conditions. In the first control version of the experiment, Darley and Latané placed the mark into the waiting room alone. Under the control version, nearly every single one of the marks investigated the source of the thick smoke and left the room to inform somebody about the problem. However, in the second scenario, Darley and Latané placed two other “shills” in the room with the marks and instructed the shills not to react to the smoke under any circumstance. Under these conditions, when the marks had the behavior of the shills to observe, the reaction of the marks to the smoke was remarkably different. Under this second scenario, even if the marks asked the shills about the smoke, the shills were instructed to shrug off any questions nonchalantly and to continue completing their questionnaires as if nothing were wrong. If the marks were particularly persistent in their inquiries about the smoke pouring into the room, the shills responded by calmly telling the test subjects not to worry about it and then resumed working on their questionnaires, again as if nothing were wrong. When the marks completed their questionnaires in the presence of shills that were instructed to ignore the smoke, Darley and Latané found that “only one of the ten subjects… reported the smoke. The other nine subjects stayed in the waiting room for the full six minutes while it continued to fill up with smoke, doggedly working on their questionnaires and waving the fumes away from their faces. They coughed, rubbed their eyes, and opened the window — but they did not report the smoke.”
Though the above results may seem maddening to you, various iterations of Darley and Latané’s “Bystander Effect” experiment have yielded incredibly similar results, with approximately 90% of test subjects assuming the mentality and behavior of the “herd”, even when the herd acted in opposition to what the test subjects knew to be true. In the case of Darley and Latané’s experiment, even when the penalty for not breaking away from the herd and thinking for oneself might have been as severe as death from a fire, the social pressure imposed by the shills upon the marks to not appear paranoid or weird kept the marks behaving in a manner that placed themselves in a potentially very dangerous, and even life-threatening situation, for an inordinately long period of time.
In another iteration of the Bystander Effect experiment, one adult “mark” was placed in a room with six to eight other adult shills and asked simple math questions. At first, all the shills answered the various simple math questions truthfully, correctly responding that 2+2 = 4, 3+4 =7, 4+2 =6, and so on and reinforcing the “marks” knowledge of the correct answers as well. However, in this experiment, after a few minutes, all shills started to deliberately answer the simple kindergarten-level questions incorrectly, all providing the same incorrect response. For example, when asked to provide an answer for 2 +3, all shills would incorrectly answer “4”, not “5”. At first, when the shills started answering the questions incorrectly, the mark would still continue to provide correct answers. But after a minute or so of pressure to conform in giving wrong answers, the great majority of the marks would exhibit hesitation, confusion, and anxiety before eventually conforming to the incorrect answers given by the shills. Very few marks had the courage to hold their ground and give correct answers to every question when faced with the peer pressure of conforming to incorrect answers. Thus, psychologists have illustrated time and time again, that given social cues, the power to conform for most individuals is enormous.
Even the late great comedian George Carlin spoke about his mother’s susceptibility to the Bystander Effect as well. In an interview, Carlin recounted how his Catholic mother used to always scold him for his use of off-color language during his comedy shows. This scolding, Carlin recounted, persisted until one day, her mother ran into some excited nuns from Carlin’s school days that wanted to tell her about George’s performance on a famous late-night TV show. Carlin recounted how his mother immediately became defensive when the nuns started speaking, fearing that they would admonish her for her son’s occasional use of cuss words. ‘Oh but that language’, she moaned, expecting the nuns to agree with her. Quite to her enormous surprise, the nuns replied that George’s cursing was okay because he had used it in his show to make a point versus just for the sake of cursing. After that blessing from the nuns, George recounted, her mother never once again complained about his cursing. George stated that her mom must have concluded that if his cursing was not a sin in the eyes of God’s employees, then there was no more reason for her to have a problem with it.
A notorious tragedy, the terrorist attack of 9/11, also illustrated the power of the “Bystander Effect”. Newsday magazine reported in an October 13, 2001 article that after the first plane struck World Trade Center One, as people started to evacuate World Trade Center Two, the following announcement was delivered over the PA system: “Building One is in a state of emergency; Building Two is secure. You’re fine. You can return to your work stations.” Some employees, though they had already started evacuation of World Trade Center Two, tragically decided to return to their offices upon hearing that announcement when others in their presence also decided to obey the announcement. Nancy Cassidy, an employee of Mizuho Capital Markets, confirmed this behavior. Ms. Cassidy stated, “It could be that because of that announcement, some people from my company went back upstairs and now may be gone.” Dan Baumbach, 24, a software engineer from Merrick, relayed even more shocking news that building officials in World Trade Center One told workers not to evacuate even after the first jet had struck the building. “You can try it, but it’s at your own risk,” one official warned a group of 100 people on the 75th floor. Baumbach stated that many chose not to leave because of that warning and the inaction of others around them. The WTC One and Two employees that survived that tragic day were likely the ones that were with a herd of others that decided to ignore such foolish instructions. It’s a shame that the need to conform is so strong that it often leads people to make bad decisions that are in their own worst interests. The Bystander Effect has illustrated this time and time again in experimental and in real life settings.
Bank CEOs of the world’s largest institutions as well as Central Bankers have carefully studied the results of these “Bystander Effect” experiments and have used their knowledge of this effect to keep good people employed within their immoral institutions for centuries. Almost all employees that work for large global commercial banks have heard widespread, sustained, excessive criticisms of their CEOs in the mass media due to their CEO’s highly immoral, and at times, even illegal activity. The publicity surrounding the wayward activities of the top bankers at JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, HSBC and scores of other banks has been far too great for thousands of bank employees to be ignorant of them. So why haven’t more employees walked away from the banking industry out of disgust? The simple answer is the very effective use and engagement of the Bystander Effect by Bank CEOs.
For decades, when bank CEOs have overseen massively illegal and criminal schemes within their banks, like drug money laundering operations, they agree to pay a fine for this illegal activity with no admission of guilt when they are caught executing such shady schemes. The reason that Bank CEOs often press for a “no admission of guilt” clause when paying fines for their criminal activities is because they know that they can then employ the Bystander Effect to retain their employees despite their known criminal activity. Humans have been trained to believe that if a person is tried for murder and the jury returns a “not guilty” verdict, then the person is innocent of all charges. When Bank CEOs pay a fine for their immoral activities but are allowed to escape with “no admission of guilt”, they email this outcome to all their higher-ranking employees to ensure that every one of their employees understands that he never admitted any guilt to the accused crimes. Furthermore, having seen many of these kinds of emails myself, I know that the Bank CEO very carefully constructs and crafts these emails to convey a message of innocence, even when he has committed a crime. Instead of stating there was “no admission of any guilt or any wrongdoing by myself”, he will state “the Bank has not admitted any guilt or any wrongdoing”, to further distance himself from the crime, as if it is not his crime, but the crime of this monolithic, unthinking corporation called “the Bank” for which he has no responsibility.
Though it may seem naïve to an outsider to accept a Bank CEO’s “no admission of guilt” so easily and at face value, this is exactly what happens internally at the bank with hundreds or thousands of employees. Because bank employees desire to work for a company that is “clean”, they read the email of the “no admission of guilt” from the CEO, and the email reinforces their predetermined notions that the bank did nothing wrong. With a clear conscience, they continue to work at the bank guilt-free because by not admitting any guilt and just paying a massive fine, the Bank CEO avoids having his employees chat about the crime around the office water cooler. Imagine if the bank admitted guilt to a crime. This would create a completely different environment in the office, and every employee would discuss amongst one another their opinions about the bank’s committed crime. However, bank employees must be astute enough to recognize that Bank CEOs can uphold their false façades of no crimes ever being committed due to their allocation of millions of dollars to hire lobbyists to hound lawmakers to change laws that allow for loopholes favorable to their criminal activities. By observing the lack of concern their colleagues display about the Bank CEO’s crime due to a lack of discussion about it, most bank employees quickly rationalize that the “crime” must have been much to do about nothing, and quickly forget about it as if it never happened. Thus, with some high-priced lawyers and some even higher-priced lobbyists, by negotiating settlements for their crimes on their own terms and not on the grounds of justice, Bank CEOs have very cleverly used a “no admission of guilt” clause as a “get out of jail” free card with their own employees and thus have been able to employ the Bystander Effect to manipulate their own employees’ sense of what is right and what is wrong.
It was once illegal for banks to function as a hedge fund until Citicorp merged with Travelers Group to form Citigroup and lobbyists paid by morally-challenged men like CEO Citigroup Sandy Weill, with the help of even more morally-challenged men like Larry Summers, repealed the protective Glass-Steagall provisions of the US Banking Act of 1933. In fact the merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group to form Citigroup was illegal at the time it was approved. Banker-hired lobbyists ensured that the laws that made their merger illegal were changed after the merger to make the entity legal. This is an example of the enormous power the bank lobby wields over the US legal system. Citigroup bankers had so much confidence that new laws to make their merger legal would pass without problem that they consummated the merger before the merger was even legal. If laws were governed by morality only and not enacted by the ruling class to protect their own interests at the expense of everyone else’s interests, then literally thousands of actions and behaviors that are illegal today would be legal, and thousands of behaviors that are legal today would become illegal.
In fact, the Bank Lobby that constantly changes laws, including the destruction of the 10% US Bank Reserve Ratio Requirement to practically nothing today, has been so powerful that JP Morgan’s admission of guilt in their notorious $6 billion trading loss known as the London Whale at the end of September 2013 was the first time in a decade that I can recall any bank ever admitting guilt to a crime! Even in this instance, the mass media reported “JP Morgan” as the entity that admitted guilt and not “JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon”, which of course ensures that as much blame would be diffused from the true culprit of the crime, Jamie Dimon, and onto an imaginary being that is much harder to identify with called JP Morgan. However, because the Bank CEOs have gotten away with the mislabeling of their crimes for decades, employees should not believe that just because a crime was not “officially” identified that a crime was not committed. For example, if a man murdered his wife, hired a phenomenal lawyer, and no murder weapon was ever found, he may never admit guilt in a court of law and get away scott free for his crime. In no way, shape or form is the murderer then innocent of murder just because he admitted no guilt. This analogy holds true to the vast majority of crimes committed by bankers in which they admit no guilt. Just as the world will soon discover that the Bank of China’s “official” declaration of 1,054 tonnes of gold reserves is as about as big a lie as humanly possible, bank employees will soon learn that much of what comes out of the mouths of their Bank CEOs as “official” statements are also lies.
The Bystander Effect is so powerful that it prevents bank employees from ever really digging deep down the rabbit hole to discover the enormity of the crimes committed by their bosses. Most employees naturally will assume the best, not the worst, about their employers. Unless you’re a sociopath, most people would have some moral qualms about working for a known crime syndicate. Just like John Darley and Bibb Latané’s test subjects that never reported smoke even when they could barely see the hands in front of their faces because of colleagues that acted like everything was okay and under control, bank employees continually brush off signs of smoke (wrongdoing) in their own banks due to social cues from their CEOs and their colleagues that the smoke is to be ignored. Bank CEOs have used the Bystander Effect to make it difficult for a moral employee to question if they should ever be digging deeper into the reported bad behavior of banks. I was once a prime example of such a manipulated bank employee before I finally refused to allow myself to be manipulated anymore, woke up, and walked away from an industry that is essentially a criminal syndicate. Every day, Bank CEOs ensure that the wrong beliefs about the integrity of their company is reinforced using The Bystander Effect not just with simple tactics that target certain divisions and higher-ranking employees like the ones I discussed above, but also with more visible corporate-wide tactics.
For example, in 2011, JP MorganChase spent millions of dollars running a very public and visible campaign called “The Way Forward” in which they claimed to have helped 565,000 JP MorganChase clients stay in their homes by helping their clients modify the terms of their mortgages. When asked about this particular JPMorgan campaign, Holden Lewis of bankrate.com replied, of all the banks his readers complained about regarding an inability to get any help from their mortgage servicers, “JP MorganChase [was] the one I’ve had the most complaints about.” It doesn’t matter that again, just a few weeks ago, JP Morgan was being charged with a fine in the range of $11B to $20B for mortgage securities fraud. This fine will be downplayed as usual and what sticks in the minds of JP Morgan employees are their PR campaigns about how they helped half a million of their clients keep their homes. In 2009, Citigroup followed suit, running a massive PR campaign that unveiled how Citigroup, like JP MorganChase, helped struggling American homeowners stay in their homes by providing refinancing options to their clients. Of course, whether or not either of the claims made by these two bank was true was not of critical importance. Citigroup Vikram Pandit and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon ensured that feelings of goodwill were circulated among their thousands of employees by spreading their false messages of “we’re the good people helping America”, when in reality, it was their institutions that had originally chopped off the legs of these very same Americans their multi-million dollar ad campaigns were claiming to help “get back on their feet”.
How Bank CEOs Use the Bystander Effect to Create False Perceptions about the Integrity of their Institutions
If we merely replace the word “State” with the word “Bank” in one of Minister of Propaganda (of the Third Reich) Joseph Goebbel’s most famous statements, then we have the blueprint that Bank CEOs use to control their employees:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the Bank can shield its employees from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the Bank to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the Bank.”
I am convinced that every single top bank executive in this world has studied the Bystander Effect in great detail and knows how to use the psychological manipulation effect of Joseph Goebbel’s statement above to dupe good people into helping them continue running their destructive and ruinous criminal empire. Just as Walter White’s neighbors on the hit AMC show “Breaking Bad” could never fathom that a chemistry teacher and a good family man could be so evil, a lot of bank employees fall for the same charade and false façade of sociopathic Bank CEOs like Lloyd Blankfein, who had the audacity to label his firm’s crimes as “God’s work”. Every so often, however, bank CEOs fail to hide their true nature, slip, and show just a sliver of who they really are, as when JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon chided a journalist that asked him if his bank was really stable and financially viable. As you can see from this graphic, JP Morgan is clearly not a stable bank. Yet that did not prevent Jamie from taunting the journalist by responding to his question with the sophomoric and childish response, “that’s why I’m richer than you.”
Ultimately, my biggest frustration in fighting for sound money alongside the likes of truly courageous people like World Bank whistleblower Karen Hudes and fine investigative financial journalists like Lars Schall, has been the difficulty of convincing the many good, upstanding banking industry employees of how their morals are being turned unknowingly by their bosses and how they are allowing themselves to be mercilessly manipulated by their crime bosses. At times when I have merely discussed the indisputable facts that make the entire banking industry the moral equivalent of a global crime syndicate, I have had bank employees angrily scream at me, “How dare you tell me to walk away from my livelihood! You think you are a saint!” When I am confronted with such emotional, visceral reactions, I have always found it extremely odd for someone to even raise such accusations as his defense, for I have never made even the faintest of allusions that I am a saint when broaching this topic. It is because I know that convincing bank employees to see the light is such an uphill battle that I continually take different angles and approaches in trying to reach the good people still stuck inside a very criminal industry.
The Employment Alternatives for Good People that Walk Away From the Fractional Reserve Banking Industry
The fractional reserve banking industry, as it is structured today, clearly does nothing to promote a better future. That is why I left over a decade ago and why I found an alternative to try to transform the global monetary system from one of destruction into one that fosters creation. To bank employees that angrily reply that I am asking them to give up their livelihood when I ask them to leave a corrupt industry that destroys billions of lives, such a response does not recognize alternatives that exist for them. My request of asking people to leave the banking industry as it is structured today is not a demand or a request for anyone to give up one’s livelihood. Rather I want to challenge Bank employees today to contribute to making this world a better place instead of a worse one. I am merely asking all fractional reserve banking employees to make the future for their children better instead of making their collective futures worse. I am merely asking them to redefine and transform their careers into ones that create instead of ones that destroy, and not to just walk away. And all of this could be accomplished simply if thousands of bank employees made this transformational decision together. Walking away is easy. Transforming a negative industry into a positive one is where real change is made. The transformational Power of One concept is realized when just one person is courageous enough to make the morally correct decision as his or her courage encourages many more to follow. Many of the more thoughtful people that are still in banking that are receptive to my request have stated that they want to leave but that they don’t know how they can afford it due to the terrible global economy and the lack of other jobs. This is a legitimate, credible concern, and certainly an even more valid one today than existed when I left the industry over a decade ago. But still, it is not one without an answer.
If all the good people working at bad banks could convince significant numbers of their colleagues to all resign at the same time, they could create a safety net of a pooled fund for each other. They could then begin work on creating a different bank unlike any other bank that exists today, a bank that operated within the rule of law instead of one that repeatedly operated outside the rule of law and flaunted the law. They could develop an operating platform of money that didn’t run on criminal fractional reserve banking principles and one that helped the people instead of the one used today that punishes the people and steals their wealth. They would have to reshape banking around a system of sound money, using a different type of debt-free currency that bankers could not deflate and inflate at will and that would not allow bankers to rig all capital markets for their benefit only. Granted this would be a very challenging task, but what better people to undertake this task than insiders that know the industry and the changes that must be made to serve the people instead of just serving a very tiny, minute fraction of very corrupt people.
Bank CEOs Didn’t Always Break Bad. The 1609 Municipal Bank of Amesterdam Provides a Model for a Good, Honest Bank
The model for such an honest bank that serves, instead of robs the people, even already exists in the 1609 Municipal Bank of Amsterdam, so there is no need for anyone to reinvent the wheel. For those that don’t know how dramatically Bank CEOs have altered a bank’s operating platform of over time to employ people’s deposited savings in enormously risky schemes to enrich only themselves at the expense of their clients, I highly recommend reading the link to the 1609 Municipal Bank of Amsterdam. Bank employees only need study periods of American history that employed a true gold standard (not a fractional reserve gold standard like Bretton Woods) to understand that a creation of a new type of honest bank that employed sound money would bring about the greatest period of sustainable economic growth in US history. Furthermore, I do not know of one person that would not choose to do business with such an honest bank, if it existed, over all other existing fractional reserve banks today. Massive business for a new honest bank would be guaranteed.
Still, the first step to making this choice is for bank employees to recognize “the Bystander Effect”, remove themselves from the herd mentality of employees at their bank, think for themselves, and then start taking the steps to extricate themselves from the crime syndicate known as fractional reserve banking.
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About the author: JS Kim is the founder and Managing Director of SmartKnowledgeU, a fiercely independent research & consulting firm with a focus on intelligent, dynamic investment strategies to avoid the wealth destruction of quantitative easing and Central Banks’ currency wars.