Remember that 2008 movie where, near the start, a bunch of mobsters’ money disappears from every bank in their city and gets put into one big pot that none of them have control over? And yet they’re told (by the man who moved their money without their permission) that their money is safe.
Immediately after he makes that statement, a clown walks in laughing at everyone in the room and says, “And I thought my jokes were bad.”
Of course I’m talking about The Dark Knight, which came out the same year that a massive financial meltdown was happening before our very eyes. It feels like déjà vu right now, doesn’t it? I’d like to share some insights I’ve had based on fictional events in the movie. I don’t intend to read intentions that aren’t there into the movie, but to use it to comment on current events.
If every dollar actually disappeared from just about every bank in a major metropolitan city like Gotham, it seems like there would be some major ramifications. Those banks would be instantly insolvent. There might even be a run on them by ordinary citizens who had been banking at those institutions.
But, in reality, is there enough money right now in any banks to cover their deposits? What’s stopping the same thing from playing out in our own financial system? I highly doubt the FDIC has enough money on hand to refund everyone’s accounts up to $250,000 if more than a handful of banks were to fall.
Was the Joker Right?
Watching The Dark Knight nowadays, I can’t help noticing that the Joker seems awfully correct in his assertions about money and mobsters. Those criminals are all obsessed with money, and they think that the man who took their money and left for Hong Kong is safe because he’s out of the reach of normal American laws. However, Batman doesn’t obey the law, and he acts outside of any jurisdiction, so he can swoop in and extralegally bring that man back to Gotham City.
Are the rules that have been in place, such as deposit protection and bank reserves to cover deposits, truly dependable? Is there a type of Batman who can go outside the system and do whatever he wants for whatever he terms to be a good cause? Even if it is illegal or outside the scope of what would normally happen.
“All You Care About Is Money”
Is money really worth anything if it can be created at the snap of one’s fingers and whisked away on a whim? Maybe the Joker was onto something when he burned his half of the millions of dollars the mobsters were all pining after.
“All you care about is money,” he said to a mob boss who had to watch in horror as the enormous pile of money went up in flames before his eyes. I didn’t understand what the Joker was after, even with his stated desire to send a message that everything burns. But now I think I’m beginning to understand.
What he’s saying is that money is worthless. Sure, it can buy some things that a man or woman desires most. But what if someone doesn’t want anything? The Joker doesn’t want anything material. He just wants to hurt and laugh at others. Money is useless as an incentive to someone like that. Maybe it will be useless as a tool or incentive for everyone if its value deteriorates enough. In that case, its only value would be for kindling.
I don’t want to watch the world burn, nor do I care to witness a magic trick with either a disappearing pencil or hundreds of millions of dollars. I got out of the system, as far as I could and as quickly as I could, to basically watch from the sidelines while all of this craziness unfolds.
Again, I don’t mean to imply that The Dark Knight was making social commentary or anything like that. It’s an incredibly entertaining movie. I’m just using it as an illustration of some things I see going on in the world right now. Hopefully conditions will improve, but that could be wishful thinking. The dawn is coming, but we’ll likely have face a dark night before it does.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
All images are the copyright of their owner.
Want to Support the Deja Reviewer? If you’d like to support the Deja Reviewer, please consider donating a few dollars to keep this site going strong. I’ll even send you an original joke if you do! Try it, and prepare to enjoy a good chuckle. $5.00
Want to Support the Deja Reviewer?
If you’d like to support the Deja Reviewer, please consider donating a few dollars to keep this site going strong. I’ll even send you an original joke if you do! Try it, and prepare to enjoy a good chuckle.