the good banker


Bankers have experienced a dramatic drop in social status thanks to the economic crisis. Humiliating public hearings featuring once mighty bankers in the U.S. Congress, court verdicts and fines against top financial brass have severed the profession of practically all moral authority. And recently the German Bundesbank expelled one of its board members, Thilo Sarrazin, for racist and Islamophobic positions in his book “Deutschland schafft sich ab. Wie unser Land aufs Spiel setzen” (DVA Munchen 2010). It must be quite a relief for the banking profession to see a monument to one of their own unveiled in front of the Nederlandsche bank in Amsterdam, followed by a exhibit opening in the Verzetsmusem, the museum of the Resistance movement. The exhibition, “Wally van Hall, Banker of the Resistance Movement”, places a banker in the role of cultural hero and presents him as an icon of national history decades after this remarkable story sank into collective oblivion. Van Hall (1906-1945) was a Dutch banker who, like many others, continued his work after the Nazis occupied the Netherlands in May 1940, hoping that he would be able to prevent further damage.

more from Dragan Klaic at Sign and Sight here.