Compared to the altruistic bank robbers of the past, Scott Morrison’s recent heist pales in comparison.
The big banks are on the nose with voters and Treasurer Scott Morrison is as mad as hell. He’s just not gonna take it any longer. ScoMo wants to teach those greedy, arrogant, smug bankers a lesson they’ll never forget.
So, like the infamous Darcy Dugan, Brendon Abbott and Ned Kelly… he’s planning a bank robbery. Well, not so much a bank robbery, more a bank levy – a bank massage, if you will. You know, the one where the banks respond to the stick-up by giving their customers a pat down.
The worst robbery attempt of all time.
So, what’s going wrong? ScoMo got the first part of the bank heist right. He physically forced his way into the bank. But after this, the strategy starts to go downhill, fast. He didn’t check to make sure the money he was stealing belonged to the bank – Bank Robbery 101, for politicians. When planning a bank hold-up, check it’s not the voters you’re swindling.
His error is understandable. Morrison is looking to capture our imaginations and there is a certain glamour and entertainment in watching an audacious crook bag a bank’s reserves of cash. But, if the treasurer wants to get into the bank robbing business, maybe he should take a lesson from some real marauders.
Look at Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, for example. How did that American gangster of the 1930s manage to rob banks and endear himself to the public at the same time? Well, for Mr Floyd it wasn’t just about the loot. During his plunderings, not only did he steal the “fat cats’” cash, he also freed many home buyers from debt by destroying their mortgage papers. Now, that’s a winning strategy for any political pickpocket.
The negotiation tactics are clear: stalling, pushing back deadlines, trying to avoid Stockholm Syndrome. At this stage, it’s not certain if the treasurer has demanded a getaway vehicle.
Scott Morrison’s own Robin Hood-style bank raid is never likely to work – a great excuse for banks to increase interest rates, fees and charges. The outlaw of Sherwood Forest might enjoy taking money from the rich but that won’t stop the sheriff beating up the peasants when he’s done.
So, Scott Morrison is taxing the banks who will, of course, claw it back from their shareholders or customers. Maybe, the treasurer should have used the more direct approach, favoured by some hard-nosed politicians. For instance, the FBI suspects that the most outrageous bank robbery of the year was carried out by North Korea’s political leader, Kim Jong-un, when he ordered hackers to steal $81 million from the Bangladeshi Central Bank. And the biggest bank robbery in history wasn’t executed by gun-wielding cowboys wearing bandannas. It was accomplished by another political leader. The son of Saddam Hussein walked into the Central Bank of Iraq with a note from his father demanding money. Even with the help of bank employees, it took several hours to load almost $1 billion in cash onto the waiting trucks.
But Saddam’s haul pales in comparison to the $6 billion Scotts is set to walk out with. No wonder he’s staring down the country’s largest banks, like a desperate outlaw trapped in a hostage situation. The negotiation tactics are clear: stalling, pushing back deadlines, trying to avoid Stockholm Syndrome. At this stage, it’s not certain if the treasurer has demanded a getaway vehicle.
Let’s face it. As a bank robber, Morrison is no mastermind. But he can still turn things around for himself. Other politicians have done it. Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin were both involved in bank robberies in their early years but still managed to go on and have very successful political careers.
However, ScoMo has a problem with his bank heist. His heart really isn’t in it. While he’s raiding the banks on the one hand, on the other, he’s offering them $180 billion in cheap debt, guaranteeing deposits and promising a bank bail out, if necessary.
This is like Bonnie and Clyde blowing a hole in the side of the bank, just to put their own life savings into the safe and then gleefully pocket some loose change on the way out.
The sort of robbery where the bank sends a letter to the criminals:
“Thank you very much for the bonus. Feel free to rob us any time.”